Chinese are fastest growing tourism segment in Philippines

Published on : Monday, January 13, 2014

tourism-segment-in-PhilippinesChina posted the fastest growth in importing merchandise in November last year among all the main trading partners of the Philippines,, although it remained as the country’s third largest export market, after Japan and the United States.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) also reported that Chinese tourists were the fourth largest group of foreign tourists in the Philippines from January to September last year.

Data from the DOT showed that 327,054 tourists from China visited the Philippines for the nine- month period, growing by 66. 08 per cent year-on-year.

The growth in tourists from China was the fastest among the top markets for tourists to the Philippines.

International tourists who visited the Philippines rose to 3.51 million in January to September of 2013, up 11.4 per cent year on year. This represented 63.80 per cent of the targeted 5.5 million visitors for 2013. However, tourist arrivals in the Philippines still lag behind other Asian destinations, such as Thailand and Malaysia.

Data released Friday by the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed that the country’s exports to China in November last year rose by 38.2 per cent from a year earlier with total exports valued at $516 million.

Philippine exports to Japan, the top export market for Philippine goods, grew by 37.1 per cent year-on-year. Exports to Japan, which implemented various stimulus measures to accelerate a sluggish economy, were valued at $1 billion.

The United States, which has resorted to pump-priming efforts by the US Federal Reserve, came in second with $589 million of export receipts for the month.

Philippine exports to the world’s biggest economy grew by only 22.7 per cent year on year last November, way below the 38.2 per cent growth of exports to China. China is now the world’s second biggest economy.

According to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Philippine exports grew at a faster pace in November because of a spike in demand from key export markets like Japan, the United States and China.

Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings, a global debt watcher, said that China’s aspired transformation to a more consumer-driven market led by its emerging middle class could drive more tourists to Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines.

The rating firm expects China to grow by 7 per cent this year, slower than the double-digit
growth rates it enjoyed in past years.

Beijing has also announced plans to refocus the mainland’s economic growth away from its current investment-driven model to a more equitable expansion that emphasizes the welfare of its middle- income group.

Overall, Fitch said it expects the “emerging Asia,” which includes China, India, Mongolia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam, to remain one of the fastest-growing regions in the world.

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