Tourist arrivals to Philippines up 11 pct in 2017

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Tourism is booming in the Philippines with 6.62 million tourists visited the Philippines in 2017, an 11 percent growth from last year, Philippine presidential spokesman Harry Roque said on Tuesday.

“Indeed, it’s more fun in the Philippines,” Roque told a news conference at the Malacanang presidential palace, citing the slogan that can be seen now and then in scenic spots of Manila.

Roque reported that the number of international tourist arrivals for 2017 has reached an all-time high at 6,620,908, up from 2016’s arrival of 5,967,005.
“The 6.6 million tourism milestone is a parlayed growth in the country’s tourism industry,” Roque said.

He said the government expects the number of tourists “to further improve with the Department of Tourism’s agenda to promote new and underrated destinations through an expanded marketing plan, better human resource capacity and service standards.”

According to data of tourism department, South Korea remained the country’s top source market for 2017, accounting for 1.6 million arrivals or an increase of 9 percent from the previous year.

Following South Korea, 968,447 Chinese visited the Philippines last year, up 43 percent.

For this year, Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo said her department was expecting 2 million Chinese arrivals.

The Philippine government announced in January that it is increasing the number of flights between the Philippines and China to lure more Chinese tourists.

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