MANILA -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Saturday said the government is optimistic tourist arrivals in the country will reach its 7-million mark by end of the year.
According to DOT spokesperson Frederick Alegre, arrivals already hiked 11 percent per month compared to 2016. As of August 2017, he said, recorded arrivals went over 4.5 million.
The official attributed most of the increase to the recently concluded hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summits and related meetings.
"Malaking tulong sa bilang ng mga turistang dumating ngayon sa Pilipinas yung ASEAN summit, yung hosting ng Philippines. Yung 11 percent increase, constant increase, per month from last year to this year, dala na rin yan ng pagdala ng ASEAN visitors sa Pilipinas (The Philippines' hosting of the ASEAN summit significantly increased the number of tourist arrivals. The 11-percent-increase, constant increase, it's due to ASEAN that brought in visitors to the Philippines.), he said.
He added that despite its conclusion, some delegates extended their visit to the country, particularly in Baguio City, Pampanga and Bohol.
Aside from ASEAN visitors, Alegre noted consistency in South Korean tourists arrivals along with Chinese visitors, which he described are nearing 1 million for 2017.
To recall, tourist arrivals to the Philippines closed at 5.97 million in 2016.
Source: Philippine News Agency