Foreign tourists to Philippines up 15 percent in 2019, exceeding target hinh anh 1A street of flower stores in Manila, the Philippines (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Singapore (VNA) – The total number of international tourists to the Philippines in 2019 increased 15.24 percent year-on-year to hit record 8.26 million, surpassing the set target, the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) said on February 17.

Almost all months, except January, registered double digit growth rates, the strongest of which was August at 27.54 percent while December recorded the highest number of foreign arrivals at nearly 776,800, the ministry added.

Those from the Republic of Korea (RoK) are still the top tourists of the country with a total of 1.98 million or a 22.48 percent growth.

China was hailed the second top source market with 1.74 million visitors or a 38.58-percent increase.

The US comes third with 1.06 million arrivals, followed by Japan with 682,788.

Australia, Canada, the UK, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Germany also sent large numbers of holidaymakers to the Philippines in the year.

Last April, the DOT launched a tourism campaign with the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan, aiming to welcome 8.2 million foreign visitors in 2019.

In the same year, the ministry also launched a movement called “Save Our Spots” to call on each individual to be a responsible tourist and encouraging others to preserve the country’s natural and man-made wonders./.