THE Philippines secured a record number of arrivals for the first two months of the year, posting 854,187 visitors in January and February 2013.
This is a 10.5 per cent year-on-year increase over the 772,989 arrivals in 2012, according to the Department of Tourism (DoT).
South Korea was the top contributor for January and February with 241,116 visitor or slightly over one quarter of total inbound traffic, also exhibiting growth of 25.6 per cent. Next came the US with 120,868 arrivals or 14.2 per cent of visitors, and Japan with 73,621.
Markets that displayed double-digit growth over this period were India (25 per cent), Russia (24 per cent), Malaysia (23 per cent), Hong Kong (19 per cent), Singapore (14.5 per cent) and Australia (11.4 per cent).
Regionally, visitors from South-east Asia grew 18.5 per cent and East Asia 14.6 per cent.
For February alone, arrivals leapt 15.5 per cent to 418,108, the first time February has seen more than 400,000 visitors. The Lunar New Year season buoyed growth from source markets – Hong Kong posted a 93.8 per cent growth rate, China, 69.9 per cent, Macau, 44 per cent and Taiwan, 20.7 per cent.
February also marked the third consecutive month the Philippines received over 400,000 visitors a month since December 2012, an upward trend the DoT predicts will continue into the summer months.