Palace hails 63% higher cruise calls for 2017

Malacañang on Thursday hailed the 63 percent higher cruise calls that the Department of Tourism (DOT) achieved in 2017.

“I am pleased to announce that the Philippines remains to be a tourist hub for local and foreign visitors,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

Cruise arrivals in the country reached 140 in 2017, with a total of 195,751 passengers.

The number is 63 percent higher compared to 72 calls in 2016, and even better than the 105 cruise calls target with 117,000 passengers.

Roque said the DOT agencies are “optimistic” to welcome 190 cruise calls in the country this year, with 329,000 passengers.

Meanwhile, he announced in the same media briefing that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has reported a 12.9 percent year-on-year increase in the April 2018 remittances from overseas Filipino workers, which reached USD2.6 billion.

Roque said the figure is higher compared to the USD2.32-billion worth of remittances recorded in the same month in 2017.

“This growth reflects a 17-month high rebound in the personal remittances from 18.4 percent growth in November of 2016,” he said.

In addition, Roque said January to April recorded remittances amounting to PHP10.4 billion, which is already 4 percent higher than the PHP10.03 billion remittances in the same period last year. PNA