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Taiwan 7th largest source of tourists in Philippines
Central News Agency
2014-01-04 09:23 PM
Manila, Jan. 4 (CNA) Taiwan remained one of the top 10 sources of tourists in the Philippines in the first 11 months in 2013, despite an incident in May that froze relations between the two countries for months. Philippine Department of Tourism statistics showed that 101,000 Taiwanese tourists traveled to the Philippines between January and Dec. 5 last year, making Taiwan the Philippines' seventh largest tourist source. That was far fewer the 216,511 Taiwanese visitors to the Philippines in 2012, when Taiwan ranked fifth among the country's sources of tourists, according to the data. The visitor number was dealt a major blow after a Philippine government vessel attacked an unarmed Taiwanese fishing boat in the countries' overlapping economic waters on May 9 lat year, leaving a Taiwanese fisherman dead. Taiwan described the attack as "cold-blooded" and imposed punitive measures on the Philippine government after Manila did not deal with the incident to Taiwan's satisfaction. Among them was a soft ban on tourism to the Philippines, leading to a huge decline in the number of Taiwanese travelers to the Philippines in the months after the incident. The ban was lifted in August, reopening tourism between the two countries. In the January-Dec. 5 period, the Philippines attracted over 3 million foreign visitors, according to the official data. One-third of the foreign travelers were from South Korea, making the country the largest source of tourists to the Philippines, followed by the United States at 649,700 visitors and Japan at 370,000. The top 10 list also includes Australia, Canada, China, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Malaysia. In 2012, the Philippines attracted 4.25 million foreign tourists, according to the Department of Tourism. (By Emerson Lim and Elizabeth Hsu)
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