MANILA — The Department of Tourism (DOT) said foreign tourist arrivals increased by three percent from January to May this year.
“We’re already seeing more foreign tourists flocking to the country, and the local tourism industry is now at its most vibrant. This latest release supports our efforts to bring more visitors into the country. While broadening the government’s tourism campaign will certainly be a major component in our marketing efforts, the fact that the country has so many to offer to both our domestic and foreign tourists is a definite advantage,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.
“Further improving our growing tourism industry will help create more business opportunities and generate more jobs in tourism-oriented communities. This will in turn complement our other efforts in pursuing our bigger goals of economic expansion and inclusive growth,” he added.
The DOT data on foreign arrival was finally released following almost three weeks of delay because of the new set of rules on the issuance of immigration cards implemented by the Bureau of Immigration.
To speed-up the immigration process the government mandated that all arriving Filipinos are no longer required to fill out the new immigration arrival cards.
With the exception of Filipinos, all the others including Philippine passport holders with existing immigrant status are mandated to fill out the new arrival cards.
DOT Undersecretary Daniel Corpuz said that BI will be crafting new rules that will define the “immigrant status” in order to properly identify Filipinos who are passport holders, but were out of the country for a long time.
“The Bureau of Immigration would require Filipino resident aliens residing outside the country for a long time to fill out the disembarkation card,” he said.
Korea still remains the biggest market as it accounts for the largest number of arrivals in the country, DOT Undersecretary Daniel Corpuz said.