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Jan 13 tourism arrivals kick off year with six per cent rise

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Jan 13 tourism arrivals kick off year with six per cent rise

Well done to Philippines with a solid (though less spectacular than in January 2012) start to the year in foreign tourist arrivals.

The jJnuary 2013 figures were up by six per cent to 436,079, a rise of 25,000 on January 2012.

That this was achieved despite 29 and 41 per cent drops in Hong Kong and mainland Chinese arrivals for January 2013 compared with January 2012 augurs well. Surprisingly, arrivals from Taiwan - unaffected by territorial disputes - dropped 26 per cent.

Amazingly, South Korean visitors were up an astounding 32 per cent for January to more than 134,000 while the surge from Malaysia that has been latterly evident with its increased direct flights continued as arrivals from that ASEAN nation rose 38 per cent.

Australian arrivals put in another great performance, up 21 per cent while Russian and CIS arrivals rose 18 and 26 per cent respectively, although both are way below the Australian contribution in raw numbers.

Neither Indonesia or Thailand are major sources of tourists for Philippines but they rose 13 and 19 per cent respectively which is encouraging.

Visitors from both the USA and Canada rose by four per cent which while not much of an increase has to be viewed in the light of the USA's ongoing relatively high unemployment and political discussions about cutting government spending that must make many consumers extremely nervous in an economic sense, presumably acting as a brake on spending.

Similarly visitors from the UK rose just one per cent but that nation is in recession, so any small rise is welcome. Total tourist numbers from western and northern Europe rose slightly between January 2012 and January 2013 which is not as gloomy a result as I would have predicted. Perhaps the sunny Filipino January skies and general warmth along with white sand islands are too tempting to ignore even if one's home country has huge levels of government debt.

Indian arrivals were up almost 31 per cent. Part must be due to how Philippines and India are numbers one and two respectively in call centre work. I have noticed more Indian businessmen writing reviews on TA for hotels in Metro Manila.

Saudi Arabian arrivals rose almost 49 per cent.

Overall this is a very solid performance given that January 2012 had a large increase on January 2011.

Of course, it also shows that the 2013 target of 5.5 million arrivals will be almost impossible to meet but in the current worldwide economic environment, any rise is a reasonable performance:

The great performance from South Korea may more than compensate for any weakness in mainland Chinese arrivals.

Many tourist associations seem to be obsessed with mainland Chinese arrivals. It is better to concentrate on encouraging arrivals from other ASEAN nations, the USA, Australia, Canada, northern Europe, Russia and when they recover economically the UK and western Europe because these other nations are less likely to slap a ban on some categories of departing tourists if their government suddenly becomes less friendly with Philippines.

e-services.tourism.gov.ph:8080/didcs/Static%…

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1. Re: Jan 13 tourism arrivals kick off year with six per cent rise

Actually the Korean invasion worries me a little as when I speak to some Filipinos, they feel that the place is overrun by Koreans.

I would prefer a more distributed increase but of course this is beyond anyone's control.

As my recent Banaue trip shows, the number of foreign tourist suddenly surge compared to my last visit.

Even my guide Irene commented that sometimes there are just too many tourist and not enough guides!

She doesn't even want to go back to Banaue when we are in Mayoyao!

I hope the Philippines government will upgrade or improve the infrastructure at the same time to welcome the increase number of visitors.

I often hear visitors commenting that the "roads are bad", "bus seats are terrible" etc.

Finally, please do not turn Philippines into a Disneyland. I hope it will retain its authenticity while it grows.

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2. Re: Jan 13 tourism arrivals kick off year with six per cent rise

While an enormous amount remains to be done, the Department of Public Works and Highways has a record amount of concreting or asphalting of roads underway, including in provinces far from Manila.

Unfortunately, new railways are missing from the picture. Philippines has the population to support a rail network on its larger, more populous islands but there is no British heritage of constructing extensive numbers of rail lines.

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3. Re: Jan 13 tourism arrivals kick off year with six per cent rise

It really a surprise that the philippines has sustained an increase this year as compared to the increase experienced last year, because the airports are the same, no increase in capacity when they are running beyond their rated capacity. Yes, some of it came from non manila airports like clark, cebu, kalibo, iloilo. But now, cebu airport authorities has already requested for a moratorium on additional international landing rights between 10pm to 2am because cebu airports are overflowing with international flights, with several to/from incheon. So how they had an increase, and how they will have any significant increase for next year is just surprising.

With the increase in arrivals, it is a pity when facilities either cannot cope or are under par. We shouldnt gloat with the quantity increase, but also the quality in the experience.

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4. Re: Jan 13 tourism arrivals kick off year with six per cent rise

Trust me, those concreting and asphalting will become dilapidated by next year because the drainage is neglected. Look at edsa, this main thoroughfare has so many chokepoints that making the road smoother will make these chokepoints more glaring.

Concreting is still stop gap. There is no additional road network while there are over 100,000 new vehicles every year, not counting the increase in motorcycles.

Then again, at least its more than what was done by the previous administrations. They just need to do a more comprehensive plan.

Edited: 01 March 2013, 13:30
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5. Re: Jan 13 tourism arrivals kick off year with six per cent rise

al22tec,

If you want to refresh your memory on how the airport can squeeze in more flights despite not being upgraded, just look at how many people they can squeeze in a jeepney!

It always surprised me on how many people can they squeeze in!

:p

philippines
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6. Re: Jan 13 tourism arrivals kick off year with six per cent rise

Yeah, but i've seen provincial jeeps and buses load cargo and some pigs, goats and chickens loaded on the rooftop. 15 or so years ago, passengers even risk riding on the roofdeck of buses and jeeps. I've seen tricycles with more than 10 riders. I can only imagine how it would look with plane passengers at the roof. Lol!

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7. Re: Jan 13 tourism arrivals kick off year with six per cent rise

If I recall correctly there are fewer 'general aviation' training flights using NAIA. Ideally, none should use it.

Removal of these flights increases capacity for 'regular public transport' flights (the commercial flights that we all travel on). Nonetheless, Manila NAIA remains congested. It is not unusual for a plane to push back from the gate and sit on the tarmac for 20 minutes or more waiting for the OK to depart from air traffic control.

Edited: 01 March 2013, 13:42
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8. Re: Jan 13 tourism arrivals kick off year with six per cent rise

Altec,

…jroo.me/z3/…a.aaa-Overloaded-Airplane.jpg

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9. Re: Jan 13 tourism arrivals kick off year with six per cent rise

Hahaha. Photoshopped, but funny. Wait, its photoshopped, right? Wink, wink

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10. Re: Jan 13 tourism arrivals kick off year with six per cent rise

Good or bad world economy, tourist arrivals will continue to increase as the Philippines is now beginning to make a mark as a must-see destination rather than just an alternative to Thailand or other ASEAN countries.