International visitor arrivals increased 9.8 percent in the first five months to 3.5 million from a year ago, the Tourism Department said Monday.
“The numbers are very encouraging. From 3,178,984 tourists recorded from January to May in 2018, we are already close to breaching the 3.5 million mark this year. This only shows that the preservation of our environment can go hand in hand with economic gains,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
Puyat said that in May, tourist arrivals saw a 15.62-percent growth, from 537,743 last year to 621,719 this year.
Korea continued its foothold in the top spot with 788,530 arrivals in January to May, up by 11.76 percent from the same period last year. China trailed closely with 733,769 arrivals for a staggering 30.96-percent increase.
Sustaining the third and fourth rankings are the US with 472,469 and Japan with 281,988.