Foreign arrivals up 19.5% in 2010 despite travel alerts

Despite the spate of negative travel advisories on the Philippines, the number of foreign
arrivals totaled 3,451,668 in 2010, or 19.5 percent higher than the 2,887,303 who came to the
country in the previous year, according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

Immigration officer-in-charge Ronaldo Ledesma said the negative advisories by foreign
governments warning their citizens against going to the Philippines did not have any impact
at all. He said foreign arrivals even peaked during the last quarter of the year, when most of
the advisories were issued due to alleged threats of terror attacks in the country.

BI records showed that from 188,028 foreign visitor arrivals last September, the number
increased steadily to 204,779 in October, 218,482 in November, and 265,651 in December.

Ledesma noted that the BI statistics are consistent with the tourism department’s target of
3.3 million tourist arrivals in 2010. The number pertains to all international travelers, including
tourists, investors, expatriates, students, and balikbayans who acquired foreign citizenship.

BI Immigration Regulation Division chief Alberto Braganza said that of the 3.4 million
foreigners who came last year, about 80 percent or 2.7 million arrived at the NAIA, while the
rest were admitted in other ports such as Mactan, Clark and Davao. (PIA)

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