Inbound tourists surpassed 5 million mark in 2015 with Korea topping list, Department of Tourism records show
Tourism has become one of the major economic drivers in the Philippines, marked with strong, continued, and uninterrupted growth in both visitor arrivals and receipts, making the country ripe to become the world’s next tourism destination.
According to the Department of Tourism, tourism remained profitable and accounted for an estimated US$5.0 billion or P227.62 billion worth of international visitor receipts in 2015. This is 5.92% greater than the 2014 total earnings, with the month of December 2015 yielding the peak of all tourism activities at P23.47 billion and the month of September 2015 registering the highest growth of 24.24%.
Korea continued to be the top spending market with visitor spending amounting to P66.55 billion for the year 2015.
The United States ranked second with P42.31 billion, followed by Australia with P12.83 billion, overtaking Japan which provided P12.20 billion to take the fourth spot. Completing the top five spending markets is China with visitor spending of P10.19 billion.
For the year 2015, tourists spend an average of P4,888.82. They also spent heavily last year, with an average per capita expenditure of P48,350.44. Their average length of stay in the country is registered at around 10 nights.
In terms of visitor arrivals, the industry also marked another milestone as, for the first time in history, total inbound tourists surpassed the five million mark, with the Philippines welcoming 5,360,682 visitors in 2015. Korea is the biggest source market with the year 2015 marking another milestone by providing 1.34 million visitors – the first country market to surpass the 1.3 million mark – accounting for 25% of total arrivals and posting a significant growth of 13.97%. The United States of America supplied the 2nd biggest influx of tourist arrivals, followed by Japan, China, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, Canada, Malaysia, and United Kingdom to round up the top 10 countries.
“The strong performance of the industry may be attributed to the aggressive branding and promotional activities launched in key and emerging markets such as the Visit the Philippines Year (VPY) campaign in 2015,” Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. said. “At the rate that the industry is growing, tourism has proven that it is an important pillar in the country’s economic growth.”
To further boost the growth of local tourism, the Department of Tourism, through its marketing arm Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) launched the Visit the Philippines Again (VPA) 2016 campaign to drive urgency and excitement among foreign travelers to visit the Philippines and return for more fun, friendship, feel-good adventures, and fabulous memories to cherish in 2016. Foreign travelers will be treated to many new and exciting attractions and spectacular travel destinations that showcase the beauty of the Philippine islands and the warmth of its people. Returning visitors will also be given exclusive travel deals and special incentives. They can avail of special discounts on flights, hotel accommodations and tour packages after simply presenting proof of previous visits.
Aside from various perks and privileges, tourists and returning Philippine residents can also enjoy worry-free connectivity during their stay in the country as TPB renewed its partnership with Globe Telecom, as the telco is once again offering its Globe Traveler SIM to millions of tourists and returning OFWs for free. Globe Traveler SIM is a local prepaid SIM that offers affordable local rates for mobile data, calls, and SMS services. Users can also receive calls and texts from abroad for free and cut costs on mobile data by subscribing to TravelSurf, which allows them to surf the Internet on mobile for an affordable rate of US$11 for seven (7) days or US$23 for 30 days. Users can also call abroad for as low as US$0.40 per minute.
“We are privileged to once again partner with the TPB to help boost the travel experience with affordable call, text and data services, enabling them to stay in touch as well as share the beauty of the Philippines to the rest of the world through social media. With Globe, we ensure that even travelers get to live and embrace their digital lifestyle as their connectivity partner while in the country,” said Nikko Acosta, Senior Vice President for International Business Group at Globe.
Starting March 15, Globe is also launching Relive Wonderful Philippines, a video contest where international visitors (Non-Philippine residents and OFWs) can submit a video showcasing why they love the Philippines and what they want to do in the country again. The winner of the best video will win a ticket to fly back to the Philippines with a companion to their destination of choice complete with hotel accommodation and allowance from Globe.