INFOGRAPHIC: Top foreign visitors to the Philippines

ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group; infographic by Pamela Ramos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 11 2018 05:37 AM

Source of data: A/D Cards & Shipping Manifests; Department of Tourism Statistics, Economic Analysis and Information Management Division; Office of Tourism Development Planning, Research and Information Management Tourism Development
Department of Tourism (DOT) note: Data on visitor arrivals include Philippine passport holders permanently residing abroad; exclude overseas Filipino workers

Given President Duterte's pivot to China, have the Chinese replaced Koreans as the country's top foreign visitors? 

And, has the closure of Boracay affected tourist arrivals? 

•    By country of residence, visitors from Korea, China, and the U.S. topped the visitor market in the Philippines in the first five months of 2016, 2017, and 2018. 

•    Boracay was closed to tourists last April 26. There was a 9% decline in the number of visitors arriving in the country from 591,137 visitors logged by DOT in April, to 537,743 in May. 

The number of visitors from China exhibited the sharpest decline, recording a 29% slump or 31,718 less visitors in May compared to April. 

Taiwan and Australia followed, with the number of tourists from those countries declining by 19% and 16%, respectively, from April-May. 

On the other hand, visitors from the U.S. and India increased by 8% and 5%, respectively, from April-May 2018.

•    There were 3.18 million visitors who arrived in the country in the first five months of 2018, according to data from the Department of Tourism (DOT). 

This is 10% higher than the 2.88 million visitors reported in the same period last year and 26% higher than the same period in 2016. 

The data “include Philippine passport holders permanently residing abroad and exclude overseas Filipino workers.”

A “visitor” is “a traveler taking a trip to a main destination outside his/her usual environment, for less than a year, for any main purpose (business, leisure or other personal purpose) other than to be employed by a resident entity in the country or place visited” as defined by DOT, adopting the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s definition. 

"A visitor (domestic, inbound or outbound) is classified as a tourist (or overnight visitor), if his/her trip includes an overnight stay, or as same-day visitor (or excursionist) otherwise." Thus, while tourists are included in the number of visitors, not all visitors classified by DOT are tourists.