Chinese tourists remain top holiday-makers in Philippine island-resort Boracay
Chinese tourists remain top holiday-makers in island-resort Boracay
According to the Malay Municipal Tourism Office on Wednesday, Chinese tourists that visited Boracay from January to May 2019 increased by 46 percent from the 148,964 Chinese tourist arrivals recorded in the same period in 2018, exceeding 218,000.
The tourism office said the Chinese mainland is the largest source of visitors to Boracay, a place famous for beaches with unsullied fine talcum powder-sand beaches, sapphire seas and spectacular sunset.
New airline routes and warmer Philippine ties with China helped boost Chinese tourist arrivals to Boracay.
Second to China is South Korea with 160,973 arrivals, up by 7 percent from 150,876 in the first five months of 2018. The United States with 12,424 tourist arrivals came third, according to data from the tourism office.
Overall, 955,984 foreign and local tourists visited Boracay from January to May 2019, nine percent more than the 947,343 recorded in the same period in 2018.
Boracay is an island-resort that belongs to the municipality of Malay in Aklan Province, and was closed for six months last year to give way to a massive clean-up and rehabilitation of the island.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said tourism managed to contribute 12.7 percent to the Philippines' gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, up 0.5 percent from 12.2 percent in 2017.
The PSA said the contribution of tourism industries to the Philippine economy, as measured by the share of tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA) to the GDP, amounted to 2.2 trillion pesos (roughly 42.55 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018, higher by 14.3 percent compared to previous year's record of 1.9 trillion pesos (roughly 36.75 billion U.S. dollars).
TDGVA serves as the indicator to measure the value added of different industries in relation to tourism activities of both inbound and domestic visitors in the country, according to the PSA. In a statement on last Sunday, Philippine Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the data showed how sustainable the Philippine tourism industry is. Puyat called the industry "an engine for socio-economic growth that provides jobs and income to the country, while preserving Filipino culture and tradition, as well as conservation of the environment."