PHL eyes 2 million Korean visitors by 2016

After the arrival of the one millionth Korean tourist last year, the Department of Tourism

(DOT) now sees two million visitors from the land of kimchi by 2016. “We are confident that the country will hit the two million Korean tourist arrival mark by 2016,” said Tourism Assistant Secretary Benito Bengzon Jr. in a statement, adding the government hit its targeted one million tourist arrivals from Korea last week. To achieve their 2016 target, Bengzon said they “will continue to step up our tourism marketing and promotions in Korea and in other market sources.” Last week, the DOT partnered with the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in marking this major feat for Philippine tourism at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal II. On Dec. 27, 2012, the agency welcomed Kook Nam Han, the one millionth traveler from Korea who was selected randomly among the passengers of the flight carrying Korean tourists. The

37-year-old businessman from Seoul, South Korea, has been a frequent visitor in the country since 1995, while his wife and other family members are already based in the Phillippines. When asked about what brings Koreans to the Philippines, Han was quoted in the statement as saying, “It's the people who are smiling all the time.

Filipinos do not hurry and are more laidback, and they definitely know how to enjoy life.

I feel so much at home here, I consider this as my second home.” Tourism Undersecretary Daniel Corpuz noted that South Korea – which remains the largest source market for Philippine tourism – is the first source market to hit the one million mark in a year.

Pleasure, business and studies are the top reasons for Koreans visiting the Philippines. Korean tourists usually

stay in the country for an average of six days, and the preferred destinations include Bohol, Boracay, and Cebu. They spend an average of $126 a day,

with the bulk spent on shopping and sightseeing. “Majority are also repeat visitors, and almost fifty percent have friends or relatives in the Philippines who most likely serve as the main sources of information on destinations to visit or activities to do,” Corpuz said. — SOA/KBK, GMA News

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