MANILA, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 1.06 million Chinese tourists visited the Philippines in the first 10 months of this year, making China the Philippines' second largest source market of foreign tourists, government data showed on Thursday.
The Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) said in a report that Chinese tourists arrivals from January to October 2018 accounted for 18.02 percent of the total foreign tourists that visited this archipelagic country.
DOT data showed that only 810,807 Chinese tourists visited the Philippines from January to October 2017.
From January to October of this year, the report said that around 5.82 million international tourists visited the Philippines.
The DOT said South Korean nationals ranked the first in the number of tourist arrivals in the country from January to October with 1.29 million or 22.04 percent of the total arrivals. The United States came third with 850,735 tourist arrivals from January to October 2018 followed by Japan 530,228 arrivals.
Tourism has now become one of the most critical support industries of the Philippines, and it is one of the sectors that has benefitted with Philippines' renewed relationship with China. A growing Chinese tourist arrival was noted for the past three years.
From 490,000 in 2015 and 675,000 Chinese tourists in 2016, the number posted a significant increase in 2017 with 968,000 tourist arrivals.
The Philippines' target for 2018 is to bring in 1.5 million tourists from China.