The Philippines welcomed 3.3 million international tourists during the first eight months of 2014, up by 2.7 percent year on year, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

The ministry said the increase in tourists was due to effective marketing strategies, the participation in international tourism fairs, and the implementation of tourism infrastructure development projects.

Tourists were estimated to spend approximately 3.2 billion USD in the Philippines over the period.

Holiday-makers from the Republic of Korea (RoK) topped the list with more than 783,800, accounting for around a quarter, followed by those from the US with over 493,000, accounting for 18 percent. Tourists from the ASEAN member countries accounted for 9.26 percent of total tourists to the Southeast Asian country.

The country’s tourism industry is seeing a rise in tourists from Vietnam, Italy, India, New Zealand, Spain, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.

The ministry’s target for 2014 is to welcome six million international tourists.

In 2013, the country recorded 4.7 million visitors, up by 9.6 percent compared to the previous year.-VNA