Visitor arrivals exceed 2 million since February reopening of borders

Passengers are seen at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City, June 23. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

VISITOR arrivals since the Philippines eased its border restrictions exceeded 2 million two weeks into November, according to the Department of Tourism (DoT).

The DoT said in a statement on Tuesday that it tallied 2.025 million visitor arrivals as of Nov. 14, consisting of 1.487 million foreign tourists and 538,078 returning overseas Filipinos.

The DoT added that visitor arrivals in the February to September period generated P100.7 billion in visitor spending, much higher than the year-earlier P4.94 billion.

The government removed many entry requirements for foreign visitors starting Feb. 10.  

Tourism Secretary Maria Esperanza Christina G. Frasco said the arrival totals exceed the DoT’s forecast of 1.7 visitors for 2022.

“This goes to show that there is huge demand for travel into our beautiful country and that the Marcos administration’s prioritization of tourism is placing our country on the right track to recovery,” Ms. Frasco said.

“We therefore must (continue to) convey not only the country’s openness to welcome more tourists but also conduciveness to tourism business and livelihood opportunities for our fellow Filipinos,” she added.

According to the DoT, visitors’ countries of origin were led by the US at 385,121, equivalent to 19.01% of the total, followed by South Korea with 285,583 (14.10%), Australia 96,297 (4.75%), Canada 89,248 (4.41%), and the UK 77,267 (3.81%).

Other leading nationalities were Japanese at 75,564 (3.73%), Indian 41,292 (2.04%), Singaporean 39,801 (1.97%), Malaysian 35,128 (1.73%), and Vietnamese 32,970 (1.63%). — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave