MANILA (CNA) – The number of visitors to the Philippines totaled 5.36 million in the first nine months of 2018, with tourists from Taiwan accounting for 3.46 percent, which was the sixth-largest percentage, the Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT) said Thursday.
During the nine-month period, visitor arrivals to the Philippines increased 8.3 percent year-on-year, driven mainly by arrivals from South Korea (1.18 million), China (972,550), and the United States (774,657), which together accounted for 54.57 percent of the total number, the DOT said.
Taiwan was the sixth-largest source of tourists, accounting for 3.46 percent, or 185,278 visitors, in the period January to September, the DOT said.
The biggest growth was arrivals from China, surging 34.91 percent from 720,875 in 2017, the department said.
The Philippines has set a goal of 7.4 million visitor arrivals for the whole of 2018 but might fall short of the target due to the six-month closure of its popular resort island of Boracay, which was reopened in late October, according to DOT spokesperson Benito C. Bengzon Jr.
Tourism contributes 12.2 percent to the Philippines economy, according to 2017 data from the country’s Statistics Authority.
By Emerson Lim and Chi Jo-yao