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RP tourist arrivals total 1,932,677 in ‘02
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: Rachel Castro-Barawid
Date: 2003-01-13
Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon yesterday announced that the country’s tourist arrivals for 2002 registered a total of 1,932,677, surpassing his annual forecast of 1.9 million early last year. This significant increase compared to 2001 arrivals at 1,796,893, posted a growth rate of 7.6 percent.

The growth in visitors came from increased arrivals from Asian countries. Tourists visited the country despite a rough year characterized by travel warnings issued by several countries, the Bali tragedy which threatened to affect the entire Asian region, the brief closures of the Australian and Canadian embassies in Manila and terrorist threats in isolated parts of the country.

“Our promoti

nal activities, and the performance of Philippine tourism in terms of visitor arrivals has made our country the “model of comeback.” Fixing our problems, and moving ahead despite the Bali tragedy and other security concerns should inspire us to move further ahead,” Gordon said.

The secretary explained that the increase was a result of collaborative efforts between government, private sector an

d local government units (LGUs) in tourism promotion.

“The priority support (for tourism) being given by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has reaped its reward with the rise in tourism arrivals for the first time in four years,” he pointed out, adding that the steady increase will continue with a large number of tourists expected to flock the country for this year’s biggest event — the Unite

d Nations (UN)-declared Visit Philippines Year.

Records from the DOT Office of Tourism Development Planning revealed that the numbers in tourist arrivals continued to grow during the period from May to December 2002. Among the high growth months were December (14.9%), November (22.7%), October (36.3%), and September (15.2%).

Arrivals from the United States got the biggest share at 20.5 per

cent, registering a 0.8 percent increase or 395,323 compared to 392,099 in 2001. The second largest source of tourists last year came from Japan with 341,867 (17.7%). Korea and Hong Kong placed third with 288,468 and 155,964 tourist arrivals respectively. China also posted an unprecedented growth rate of 46.8 percent or 27,803 arrivals against 18,937 in 2001. Other countries that showed remarkable

growth rates include Korea (38.7%), Singapore (30.6%), Taiwan (20.9%) and Hong Kong (16%).


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