Tourist Arrivals From Malaysia Goes Up 201228 December 2012—The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said today that the Philippines is becoming a tourism destination of choice for many Malaysian travelers as indicated by a hefty increase in tourism arrivals from that country.

As of October 2012, tourist arrivals from Malaysia went up by 21.92 percent to 91,230, and are expected to surpass the total 2011 tourist arrivals of 97,154. With this surge, Malaysia has become the 10th biggest market for Philippine tourism, up from 11th place last year.

This was announced during an Appreciation Dinner by the embassy's Office of the Tourism Representative/Department of Tourism (DOT) Marketing Office held recently.

The increase is credited to the increased air connectivity between the Philippines and Malaysia with the launch of flights of two new airlines and the opening of another route by a third airlines, as well as the aggressive tourism efforts being waged by the embassy's tourism office and Malaysian tour operators in line with the Philippine Department of Tourism's "It's more fun in the Philippines" campaign.

Other countries in top 10 sources of tourist arrivals to the Philippines as of October 2012 are Korea (832,437), United States (534,899), Japan (341,676), China (215,814), Taiwan (188,862), Australia (147,237), Singapore (111,200), Hongkong (98,967), and Canada (96,089).

Altogether, total tourism arrivals have so far grown by 9.44 percent, with arrivals from Taiwan increasing the most by 22.98 percent.

"The surge in Malaysian tourist arrivals is the second strongest growth the Philippines has seen among its many markets, only surpassed by those coming from Taiwan. More and more Malaysians are discovering why, as our new tourism slogan goes, 'it's more fun in the Philippines.' We also appreciate the creativity, focus and hard work made by Tourism Marketing Representative Datin Melissa Ong and her team in leading the way towards this milestone," Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya said.

"We expect that this significant growth to continue and also see more foreign tourists going to Davao, Siargao and other destinations in Mindanao in the light of the signing of the Framework Agreement between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. This may unlock the terrific tourism potentials of the region," the Ambassador added.

AirAsia Philippines and AirPhil Express launched their Kuala Lumpur-Clark and Kuala Lumpur-Manila in June this year, respectively, while Cebu Pacific airlines launched its Kuala Lumpur-Cebu route this month.

Among the major initiatives undertaken in 2012 by the embassy's tourism marketing office included the conduct of the First Philippine Tourism Fair at the Berjaya Times Square last July, and the frequent familiarization tours to Philippines tourism destinations for Malaysian tour operators and media personalities, the most recent of which was a five-day familiarization tour of Cebu and Bohol this month.

For her part, Datin Melissa Ong expressed gratitude for the efforts undertaken by the Embassy, the tour operators and the members of the media in actively pushing for Philippine tourism.

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"It is due to everyone's unwavering commitment to push for Philippine tourism that we have reached this milestone. We also like to thank the Embassy for its full support to our projects. We look forward to more projects and activities to further boost the Philippines tourism," she said.

During the event, the tourism marketing office also gave recognition to top Malaysian travel agencies and tour operators who have actively pushed for Philippine tourism. END