Manila, Sept. 1 (CNA) The Philippines saw a surge in Taiwanese tourists to Central Visayas in the first four months of 2017, registering the largest growth in tourists from any country in the region.
Data from the Philippines' Department of Tourism (DOT) released earlier this week showed a 110.75 percent year-on-year increase in the number of Taiwanese tourists traveling to Central Visayas, Philippines in the first four months of the year.
In total, 21,631 Taiwanese nationals visited the region in the first four months of 2017, whereas only 10,264 visited in the same period the previous year.
Travel agencies explained the preference for Central Visayas, saying that tourists are trying to avoid the traffic jams expected in Manila.
This data comes at a time when the government, with its New Southbound Policy, is actively encouraging Taiwanese nationals to visit Southeast Asia and promoting Taiwan as a travel destination for the nationals of those countries.
According to DOT rankings, Taiwan was the sixth largest source of visitors to the Philippines for the first half of 2017, behind South Korea, Japan, China, the United States and Australia.
(By Emerson T. Lin and Kuan-lin Liu)