Over 2 million international visitors have arrived in the country as of April 24, with South Koreans topping the list of inbound arrivals, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).

The country’s tourism receipts from Jan. 1 to March 31 have also accounted for around P157.62 billion, which translate to an estimated 120.70 percent recovery rate from the P130.59 billion revenue gained from the same period in 2019.

2019 was the milestone year for Philippine tourism before the global lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Based on DOT’s monitoring data, a total of 2,010,522 international visitors entered the country, with 94.21 percent or 1,894,076 of the country’s total international arrivals delivered by foreign tourists and about 5.79 percent or 116,446 are overseas Filipinos.

This is 15.11 percent higher than the international arrivals recorded in the same period last year pegged at 1,746,630.

South Korea remains the Philippines’ top source market in terms of inbound visitor arrivals with 27.19 percent or 546,726, followed by the United States with 315,816 (15.71 percent), China with 130,574 (6.49 percent), Japan with 123,204 (6.13 percent), and Australia with 88,048 (4.38 percent).

Canada, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Germany ranked sixth to tenth, respectively.

“The Department of Tourism sees a positive trajectory for the country’s international tourist arrivals this year. We are hopeful that with more investments in tourism infrastructure as well as much needed increase in connectivity as well as improvements in air, land and sea infrastructure and accessibility, the numbers can further increase,” Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said.

The country is targeting to welcome 7.7 million international visitors this year, nearly its pre-pandemic record-breaking achievement in 2019 with an estimated 8.26 million inbound visitor arrivals.PNA