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American tourists place PHL as 4th top favored destination

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THE Philippines ranks fourth among the favored destinations of tourists from the US.

 

This was revealed by Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon T. Teo in a speech before some 40 travel agents representing Asian destinations during the recent Philippine Business Mission in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

 

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In her speech, Teo encouraged the travel agents to take advantage of the growing interest in Asia Pacific as a tourism destination. “There is no better time than now to leverage on the dawning of the Asian century. As early as 2014 the other side of the world, like the United States, began discovering and rediscovering the Philippines, placing us on the top 4 preferred destinations, along with China, India and Japan,” she noted.

 

The participating travel agents represented Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. “Asia Pacific is considered an ‘exotic area’, and everybody now is looking at the region as their new destination, particularly most Americans who have been to Europe and South America. And it is only now that they are able to discover the Asia-Pacific region,” she said.

 

The United Nations World Tourism Organization, in its report on Asia Tourism Trends in 2016, acknowledged that “Asia and the Pacific is the second-most visited region in the world after Europe and has been one of the fastest growing in recent years. It received 279 million international tourists in 2015, nearly one-fourth of the world’s total.

 

It added that between 2005 and 2015, the region “outperformed all world regions in terms of growth, with arrivals increasing at an average of 6 percent per year, compared to the world average of 4 percent… Over half of all international tourist arrivals recorded in Asia and the Pacific are in Northeast Asian destinations [142 million arrivals], while Southeast Asia accounts for 37 percent [105 million], South Asia for 7 percent [18 million] and Oceania for 5 percent [14 million] in 2015”.

 

Citing a DOT survey in 2016, Teo said travelers from the US to the Philippines usually connect through Hong Kong, while some of them fly via Singapore. She added these US travelers also prefer Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur as layovers before heading to the Philippines.

 

“It is also interesting to note that 15.8 percent of these travelers from the US consider other traditional domestic destinations, such as Cebu other than Manila; Palawan [9.3 percent], while 6.6 percent of them go to Pampanga—which has strong affinity with Clark, Subic and La Union, especially among former US servicemen of American-Asian descent —and 6.5 percent still consider Boracay a favorite choice,” the DOT chief said.

 

The US is the second top market for visitor arrivals in the Philippines, accounting for some 15 percent of the 2.9 million total arrivals in the first five months of the year. From January to May, visitor arrivals from the US grew by about 12.8 percent to 428,767.

 

In the same DOT 2016 survey, a copy of which was obtained by the BusinessMirror, it showed that almost 30 percent of the visitors from the US spent their time shopping in the Philippines. Other top activities in the countries by these tourists include sightseeing (18.4 percent), beach holiday (7.5 percent), visit friends and relatives (2.7 percent), sports (1.9 percent), nature and adventures (1.5 percent) and scuba diving (1.1 percent). Only half of one-percent were in the Philippines for investment opportunities. Of the American visitors who went shopping, some 47 percent went to the department stores, while 30 percent went to the tourism duty-free stores, and 17 percent purchased goods in souvenir shops. The same DOT survey also showed visitors from the US spent the most of shopping money on fashion accessories (59 percent), clothes (46.5 percent), art and crafts (32 percent), food and delicacies (18.3 percent), leather goods (10.1 percent) and paper/paper goods (9.1 percent).

 

This article was originally published by our media partner, BusinessMirror.
American tourists place PHL as 4th top favored destination
by Ms. Stella F. Arnaldo  |  23 July 2017  |  BusinessMirror

 

 

Author: Ma. Stella F. Arnaldo, BusinessMirror
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