MANILA, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The number of Chinese tourists to the Philippines during the first three quarters of 2018 has exceeded the full-year total in 2017, reaching over 970,000, the Philippine Department of Tourism said on Wednesday.
The department said in a report that more than 972,550 Chinese tourists have visited the Philippines in the first three quarters. In 2017, the Philippines received around 968,000 Chinese tourists for a whole year.
The report showed that China is still the Philippines' second largest source of tourists, with a high-speed growth of 34.9 percent and a share of 18.14 percent of the total international arrivals in the first nine months of 2018.
From January to September of this year, the report said that nearly 5.36 million international tourists visited the Philippines.
South Korea remained the Philippines' top source of tourists during the nine-month period with a 1.19-million tourists' arrival.
The Philippines is one of the best tourism destinations in Southeast Asia with world-famous resort islands like Boracay, Palawan and Siargao.
Tourism has now become one of the most critical support industries of the Philippines, creating more than 5.3 million jobs.
In 2017, the southeast Asian country welcomed 6.6 million international tourists, contributing 12.2 percent to the country's GDP.
The Philippines aims to hit a 7.4-million target in foreign arrivals this year.