MANILA, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- China has surpassed South Korea for the first time as the top source of visitor arrivals for the world-class resort island Boracay in the central Philippines, local media reported on Friday.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer, a major Philippine English newspaper, quote Helen Catalbas, director of the Department of Tourism in Western Visayas as saying that 375,284 Chinese tourists visited Boracay last year, surpassing by 5.32 percent the 356,644 South Korean tourists who visited the island.
Boracay Island, off Aklan province in the central Philippines, is famous for beaches with unsullied fine talcum powder-sand, sapphire seas and spectacular sunsets.
For 2017, the Philippines expected Chinese tourist arrivals to hit the 1-million mark.
Catalbas reckoned the direct flights from Kalibo town to eight airports in China contributed to the increase in Chinese tourists' arrivals.
Foreign tourists made up more than half of over 2 million tourists that descended to Boracay last year, according to government data.
Data also showed that tourist arrivals on the island hit a new record high, increasing by 16 percent last year from the 1.72 million visitors recorded in 2016.