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The Philippines has recorded more than 4.82 million foreign visitor arrivals, including Filipinos based overseas, breaching its target even before year end, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Frasco said Tuesday.

DOT data show that as of Nov. 28, a huge chunk of foreign arrivals comes from South Korea with 1,275,887 foreign visitors and 4,231 overseas Filipinos for a total of 26.46 percent.

It is followed by the United States with 923,409 foreign visitors and 123,828 overseas Filipinos and Japan with 323,029 and 49,299 overseas Filipinos.

Other international arrivals in the top 10 come from Australia, China, Canada, Taiwan, Singapore, United Kingdom and Malaysia.

The foreign arrivals have brought PHP404 billion to the economy.

Citing a report by economic managers, Frasco said this manifests that Philippine tourism is the second highest driver of economic growth for the Philippines.

“This cements our position as one of the strongest pillars of the Philippine economy that employs no less than 5.35 million Filipinos in the tourism industry sector, ensuring jobs, livelihood, and the well-being of communities all over the country,” she added.

She said the liberalization of visa policies, the building of tourist rest areas, the establishment of the first ever multi-platform tourist call center, among others, have contributed to reaching the target. (PNA)