Philippines Welcomes 8-Millionth Guest for 2019
Looks like DOT's hitting their target for arrivals.
(SPOT.ph) Despite natural calamities, threats in security, and issues of the state, it looks like foreigners are still putting the islands of the Philippines on their bucket lists. And 2019 has recorded an all-time high of international tourist arrivals, with the eight millionth visitor—Japanese national Yachiyo Imamoto—touching down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on December 27.
The 71-year-old arrived via All Nippon Airways Flight 869, which left Tokyo Haneda Airport at 9:38 a.m. and arrived in Manila at 1:33 p.m. She was personally welcomed by Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat. This is Imamoto's eighth visit to the country.
Back in May, The Department of Tourism already expressed confidence that they will be able to hit the target of 8.2 million visitors before 2019 ends. And they've successfully done so, having breached the eight-million mark with four more days to spare.
“What has driven the growth [is] marami na tayong mga flights. Hindi lang papunta ng Manila—[may] papunta ng Cebu, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, so in a way nadi-disperse natin ‘yong air passenger traffic. By doing so, siyempre mas maraming makikinabang at the local communities,” Tourism undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. said in a report by Manila Bulletin.