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This Country Regularly Tops Philippines Tourist Arrivals—And It’s Not China


South Korean photographer Sang-kyu Gil has visited the Philippines nearly 10 occasions.

Attracted by the attractive views and reasonably priced costs, the 42-year-old often spends seven to 10 days within the nation. It value him about $400 – lower than half the quantity he would spend on an analogous journey inside his nation.

His final go to was in 2019 earlier than the Covid pandemic, however that go to is unlikely to be his final.

“Of course I have plans to go to the Philippines again,” he advised CNBC Travel in Korean.

If previous traits are any indicator, the Philippines is more likely to see many guests from South Korea as soon as the pandemic ends.

Residents of South Korea prime the record of vacationers visiting the Philippines yearly from 2010 to 2020 data from philippines, Tourism Department.

China, the United States and Japan rounded out the highest 4 in the identical time interval, though every has a a lot bigger inhabitants than South Korea’s 51 million residents.

According to the Philippines tourism official, the Philippines is just not the highest vacation spot for South Koreans, though it’s within the prime 10. In absolute numbers, much more South Koreans go to nations like Japan And Vietnam.

Still, South Korean vacationers go to the Philippines greater than some other traveller – a state of affairs that did not occur by chance.

South Korea’s Philippine Tourism Director Maria Corazon Jorda Apo advised CNBC that the Philippines focused vacationers from South Korea when the nation lifted a ban on overseas journey in 1989.

Previously, solely South Koreans over the age of 40 may go overseas for tourism, and there have been situations hooked up to this, The Associated Press reported. The report mentioned the federal government relaxed these measures whereas pursuing democratic growth and liberalization.

Epo mentioned the Philippines Department of Tourism acknowledged the chance and established “a foothold in Korea since 1989” by using Korea-based advertising and marketing representatives. He added that the division later opened an workplace in Seoul in 2007 “to do intensive marketing and promotion”.

Those efforts paid off. Before the pandemic, an estimated 1 in 5 vacationers to the Philippines was from South Korea.

Here’s what introduced these guests to the Philippines.

1. Proximity and Convenience

2. Beautiful Beach

Philippine Beach It’s additionally a giant draw for guests to South Korea – these round Cebu and Boracay are prime favorites.

Alex Jeong, Korean gross sales supervisor for Philippines-based journey company Ruxo Travel, mentioned South Korea’s seashores usually are not the identical because the Philippines.

University pupil Hyuncheon Lee mentioned Boracay is a “really famous travel destination” amongst South Koreans.

Courtesy of Hyun Chen Lee

Lee mentioned the “best memory” from her journey to Boracay in 2018 was hanging out with pals on her lodge’s personal seashore.

He is just not alone. A 2020 customer survey discovered that Koreans love “the beautiful scenery and beaches of the Philippines”, mentioned Apo of Philippines Tourism.

3.Low Price

Traveling ‘post-pandemic’

The Philippines reopened its borders to tourists in February, But South Korean leisure vacationers are unlikely to journey proper now, mentioned Jeong of Ruxo Travel.

This is as a result of most individuals visiting South Korea are nonetheless required to serve a compulsory quarantine.

However, Epo mentioned curiosity “increased greatly” when the Philippines introduced the reopening of its borders, although he didn’t elaborate on what bookings had been made.

“We expect the demand for tourism in the Philippines to recover rapidly once travel restrictions are lifted in both countries,” mentioned Chow of Hana Tour.

— CNBC’s Chelsea Ong and Cheri Kang contributed to this report.


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