|The Philippines - Tourism|
The Philippines is a prime destination for all kinds of tourists - from nature lovers and adventure seekers to shopping mall hoppers and spa addicts.
Tourists can explore the country's 7,107 islands and discover not only beaches but also breathtaking sceneries with exotic wildlife. Rich in biodiversity, the Philippines has around 12,000 plant species, 1,100 land vertebrate species and at least 500 species of coral. It is home to 2,145 fish species, and exotic animals like tiny tarsiers and sea turtles. The country is a must-see for whale shark interaction and birdwatching. Aside from the usual leisure activities and sightseeing, the Philippines is also the place to visit for various water sports such as kayaking, wakeboarding, kitesurfing, and windsurfing.
Beyond the Philippine experience of nature's wonders is the warmth and hospitality of the Filipino people; that with the country's convenient location, growing economy and thriving urban lifestlye make Philippine tourism an attractive investment opportunity.
Tourism is one of the top contributors to the Philippine economy. The Philippines welcomed a total of 4,272,811 foreign visitors in 2012, posting a 9.07% increase from 3,917,454 visitors in 2011. This marks the first time in the country’s tourism history to surpass the 4 million visitor arrival mark.
South Korea set a new all-time high by supplying a total of 1,031,155 visitors or 24.13% of the total visitor volume to the Philippines. Registering 11.45% growth from 2012, South Korea remains the biggest market and the first to contribute one million visitors.
The United States of America came in second with 625,626 visitors, equivalent to a 15.27% share. Japan ranked third with 412,474 visitors or 9.65% of the total inbound traffic.
Other markets consistently providing significant volume and positive growth are China with 250,883 arrivals (5.87%), Taiwan with 216,511 (5.07%), Australia with 191,150 (4.47%), Singapore with 148,215 (3.47%), Canada with 123,699 (2.90%), Hongkong with 118,666 (2.78%), Malaysia with 114,513 (2.68%), United Kingdom with 113,282 (2.65%), and Germany with 67,023 (1.57%). Overseas Filipinos supplied 5.05% to the total tourist traffic at 215,943 arrivals, exhibiting a steady growth rate of 4.24%.