Chinese, Koreans still top foreign visitors to Boracay

AKLAN, Philippines –  Boracay Island has maintained its reputation as a prime tourist spot in the country for visitors from China and Korea, despite the challenges posed by its temporary closure and ongoing rehabilitation.

Data from the Department of Tourism in Boracay showed the two leading tourist market sources accounted for 80% of 216,766 foreigners visiting the island for the first two months of this year. (READ: Boracay: Paradise reborn?)

Overall, the domestic tourism market drew 110,406 arrivals,  13,147 of whom were overseas Filipino workers. (READ: Philippines breaks tourism record in 2018 despite Boracay closure)

Total tourist arrivals for the first two months totaled 340,309 compared to 375,993 last year. The "decline" of tourist arrivals was affected by Boracay's closure and the maximum number of visitors allowed on the island in view of the Boracay's carrying capacity.

During the January-February period, China was by far the biggest market with 107,164 or 49% of the total foreign visitors this year. This was followed by Korea with 68,453 or 31% of inbound tourists.

Americans were the third largest market with 5,502 or 3% of total travelers for the period.

Other sources of tourists were Russia with 3,499; Australia, 2,914; United Kingdom, 2,724; Taiwan, 1,940; Canada, 1,899; and Germany, 1,795 arrivals.

For February alone, Chinese tourists tallied 59,768 arrivals, and Koreans, 34,466.

Tourists from East Asia – specifically China, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan –  comprised the biggest market share of all visitors with 179,835 arrivals or 82% of total foreigners.

Travelers from North American countries Canada, the United Stations, and Mexico – came in second with 7,443 arrivals.

Northern Europeans from Ireland, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, Finland, and Denmark registered 5,466 arrivals, while  Western Europeans from the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria counted 5,108 arrivals.

DOT-Boracay said there were 3,953 arrivals from Eastern Europe, specifically Russia, Poland, and from the Commonwealth of Independent States. – Rappler.com