Posted at Malaya Business Insignt on MONDAY FEBRUARY 06, 2012 PHILIPPINES
The Department of Tourism (DOT) said tourist arrivals reached a record high of 3.9 million in 2011, 4.6 percent higher than the target of 3.7 million.
The visitor arrivals in 2011 were 11.2 percent higher than the 3.5 million registered in 2010.
The figures indicate that the Philippines remains an ideal destination for foreign visitors, both individuals and groups.
The DOT is optimistic of receiving 4.2 million visitors this year with a new brand campaign as well as infrastructure development, destination/product development and management, and investments in and quality improvement of facilities and services.
By November 2011, tourist arrivals had reached 3,522,887, surpassing the 2010 numbers of 3,520,471.
The highest number of arrivals was registered in July with 360,784 visitors while the month of November recorded the highest monthly growth of 19.8 percent.
The East Asian region accounted for almost half of the total traffic at 1,675,165, or a share of 47.55 percent.
This region posted an impressive 19.15 percent growth versus its arrivals of 1,405,940 in the same period in 2010. Countries from this region belonged to the top visitor markets of the Philippines with South Korea providing the biggest number of arrivals at 839,111.
North America contributed 18.81 percent to the total inbound traffic with 662,534 arrivals. The volume of visitors from this region recorded an increase of 4.94 percent vis à vis the previous year’s arrivals of 631,338.
Arrivals from Canada increased 11.86 percent while those from the United States grew 3.74 percent.
Countries in Asean contributed a total of 301,708 visitors, comprising 8.56 percent of the total visitor count. This region posted an increase of 12.04 percent compared with its contribution of 269,275 visitors a year ago.
The Australasia/Pacific region accounted for 199,622 of the arrivals, up 14.59 percent from the 174,203 visitors the previous year. This region constituted 5.67 percent of the total visitor volume.
The fifth biggest volume of arrivals was contributed by Northern Europe at 142,802 for a share of 4.05 percent of the total inbound traffic. This region posted an increase of 9.53 percent from the 130,376 arrivals in 2010.
The DOT said the series of travel advisories on specific areas and isolated areas did not deter tourists from visiting the country.
The DOT shared this optimism in light of speculation of decreased visits due to the recent United Kingdom travel advisory on limited areas in the South following the kidnapping of two European tourists in Tawi-Tawi on February 1.