The Philippines welcomed 2.43 million foreign arrivals in the first half of 2014, up 2.22 percent against the same period last year, data from the Department of Tourism showed.

Tourist arrivals from Asian region accounted for 58.7 percent of the total with South Korea , China and Japan leading the region. The American and European arrivals comprised 19.28 and 10.64, respectively.

By sub-region, ASEAN recorded a year-on-year rise of 11.2 percent in the number of arrivals to the Philippines . South Europe grew by 13.35 percent and the Eastern Mediterranean Europe up 13.58 percent.

Of visitor markets, the Republic of Korea topped the list with nearly 548,000 arrivals, followed by the US (around 389,500), and China (over 226,000).

In the period, foreign visitors spent almost 110 billion peso (2.5 billion USD) in the country. The top five visitor markets in terms of expenditure are Korea (29.11 billion peso), the United States (22.64 billion peso), Australia (7.38 billion peso), Japan (5.48 billion peso) and China (4.88 billion peso).

The country targets 6 million foreign arrivals this year.

In 2013, it received nearly 4.7 million international tourists, up 9.6 percent year on year.-VNA