A total of 3,489,270 tourists were recorded to have visited the Philippines for the first five months of 2019, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the numbers — which mark a 9.76 percent increase from the same period last year — are very encouraging.
“The numbers are very encouraging. From 3,178,984 tourists recorded from January to May in 2018, we are already close to breaching the 3.5 million mark this year. This only shows that the preservation of our environment can go hand in hand with economic gains,” she said in a statement.
The month of May saw a 15.62 percent growth in tourist arrivals, increasing from 537,743 last year to 621,719 this year. It is the highest month-per-month growth rate this year to date.
Korea continues its reign as the country’s number one source market with 788,530 January to May arrivals, chalking up an 11.76 percent growth rate comprising 22.6 percent of the total arrivals.
Following close behind is China, with 733,769 arrivals for a 30.96 percent increase and a 21.03 percent market share. The United States ranks third with 472,469 arrivals, while Japan places fourth with 281,988.
Taiwan also saw a double digit growth at 27.24 percent or 128,986 arrivals.
Other countries included in the top ten markets are Australia with 123,851; Canada with 114,605; the United Kingdom with 92,914; Singapore with 64,951; and Malaysia with 64,951.