Malaysia Posts Highest Growth Rate in Tourist Arrivals for Jan-Aug 2014

17 November 2014 - Malaysia posted the highest growth rate in tourist arrivals to the Philippines for the first eight months of the year at 22.5 percent or 88,701 tourist arrivals from the previous year, based on data from the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT).

The country is also the Philippines' 10th largest source of tourist arrivals for the same period.

From January to August 2014, visitor arrivals to the Philippines reached a total of 3,267,542, recording an increase of 2.72 percent over its previous year's volume of 3,180,903 for the same period.

The Republic of Korea continued to provide the biggest volume of arrivals at 783,852, followed by the United States with 493,338 arrivals, and Japan with 9.51 percent at 310,901 arrivals. Rounding up the top 10 were China (308,393), Australia (140,123), Singapore (118,382), Taiwan (97,004), Canada (93,644), and United Kingdom (90,606) during the period.

"Malaysians have been seeing the Philippines as an attractive tourist destination with its relative distance from their country, and the increasing number of connections between our two countries. At the same time, the various tourism awards bestowed to our key destinations also piqued Malaysian interests," Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya said.

"It cannot also be denied that the aggressive tourism promotion campaign undertaken by the Philippine government has been instrumental in encouraging Malaysians to visit the country," he added.

In April this year, AirAsia launched its Kuala Lumpur to Kalibo service and it also resumed its Kuala Lumpur to Clark flights last month. Star Cruises also included Puerto Princesa City as a destination of the SuperStar Aquarius ship this month.

Last October 2, the Philippines was awarded the Destination of the Year at the 25th Annual TTG Travel Awards 2014 held in Bangkok, Thailand. Organized annually by the giant TTG Asia Media's Travel Trade Publishing group, the TTG Travel Awards has been recognizing the best of Asia-Pacific's travel trade since 1989.

Palawan topped the international travel magazine Conde Nast Traveller Reader's Choice Awards for the Top 30 Best Island in the World. It clinched the award due to it being home to one of the new seven natural wonders of the world, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, as well as key diving and exploring sites.

"We expect Philippine tourism to maintain its upward trajectory as the DOT declared next year as Visit Philippines Year 2015 (VPY 2015), where several activities and events are lined up to draw in both domestic and foreign tourists in the country," Ambassador Malaya stated.

The Philippines is also actively preparing for two key events for 2015—the visit of Pope Francis in January and its hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings for the entire year, culminating in the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in November.

Last year, Malaysia was the Philippines' 11th major tourist market, with 109,437 Malaysian tourists visiting the Philippines in 2013. According to Tourism Malaysia, 403,728 Filipinos visited Malaysia as of September 2013, making the Philippines the ninth major source of tourists for Malaysia. END