INTERNATIONAL visitor arrivals breached the 2 million level as of May 12, well ahead of the year-earlier pace and on track to beat the 2023 target of 4.8 million, the Department of Tourism (DoT) said.
In a statement on Sunday, the DoT said international arrivals totaled 2,002,304 in the year to date.
For 2023, the DoT has set a target of 4.8 million international arrivals, against the 2.65 million actual arrivals logged last year.
South Korea accounted for 487,502 visitors, or 24.35%, followed by the US with 352,894 (17.62%), Australia 102,494 (5.12%), Canada 98,593 (4.92%), and Japan 97,329 (4.86%).
Other top countries of origin were China with 75,043, Taiwan 62,654, the UK 62,291, Singapore 53,359, and Malaysia 36,789.
The DoT said that inbound visitor receipts — a measure of visitor spending — rose 782.59% year on year to P168.52 billion in the four months to April.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has said that global international arrivals hit 80% of pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter, with 235 million traveling internationally during the period.
The UNWTO added that international arrivals in the Asia and Pacific region were at 54% of pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter, lagging the international average but projected to close the gap after China’s easing of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictions in January.
“The start of the year has shown again tourism’s unique ability to bounce back. In many places, we are close to or even above pre-pandemic levels of arrivals,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave