A fifth of foreign tourist arrivals come from US, says DOT
Quezon City (28 October) -- THE Department of Tourism's (DOT) "balikbayan" homecoming program in North America seems to have paid off as the United States topped the list of originating countries of foreign tourist arrivals in the country in the third quarter of 2006.
A report provided by DOT's research and statistics division showed that 424,494 Americans visited the country from January to September, accounting for more than a fifth of the total foreign tourist arrivals.
In the middle of the year, DOT launched the Grand Pinoy Homecoming Tour to encourage Filipino residents, Americans of Filipino descent, and their relatives and friends to sample the country's top tourist destinations.
The program was also launched in Canada, which placed ninth on the list. Canada had 54,511 visitors to the country, a 9.6-percent increase.
Also visiting the country were overseas Filipinos -- or Philippine passport holders permanently residing abroad -- who numbered 107,972, a 21.6-percent rise compared to last year's figures.
Meanwhile, total foreign arrivals in the country for the first nine months of the year reached 2,085,783, which was 9.4 percent higher than the 1,907,405 in the same period last year.
South Korea, with 406,480 visitors, came in second in terms of in-bound visitor volume. Its 16.4-percent growth rate, however, was higher than the United States’ 8.1 percent.
The East Asian region continued to be the country's top markets for foreign visitors. After South Koreans, tourists from Japan (326,219), China (98,136), Taiwan (87,471), and Hong Kong (70,804) followed on the list of DOT's top 10 markets.
Completing the list were Australia, Singapore, Canada, and the United Kingdom. (PIA) [top]