Report: NegOcc remains second most visited province by tourists
NEGROS Occidental, including its capital Bacolod City, still catered to the second highest number of tourists in Western Visayas last year, official reports of the Department of Tourism (DOT) showed.
DOT-Western Visayas, on in its Facebook page, posted that the total tourist arrivals in the region for 2017 reached 5.85 million.
In terms of tourism receipts, or the amount of money spent by tourists during their stay, the region generated about P128 billion.
This was confirmed to SunStar Bacolod by DOT Region 6 Director Helen Catalbas.
In 2017, the region has catered to 4.62 million domestic, 1.17 million foreign guests, and about 59,000 overseas Filipino workers.
Of the figures, combined tourist arrivals of 1.72 million, or 29 percent, are accounted for Negros Occidental and Bacolod City.
For Negros Occidental alone, the regional line agency reported 892,199 arrivals. Of which, 856,511 are domestic and 35,688 foreign tourists.
Bacolod, a highly urbanized city, has catered to 831,687 tourists last year. It received 756,835 domestic and 74,852 foreign guests.
In 2016, Negros Occidental including Bacolod City also ranked second in terms of the number of tourist arrivals, with 1.65 million.
Overall, Negros Occidental and Bacolod City comprised almost 32 percent of the total tourist arrivals of about 5.1 million in Western Visayas.
Aklan which hosts Boracay Island remains the region’s top tourist destination with about 2.22 million arrivals.
The province comprises 38 percent of the total arrivals last year.
It was followed by Iloilo Province, also including its capital Iloilo City, with almost 1.39 million or a combined percentage of 23 percent.
Capiz ranked fourth with 229,195 tourists followed by Antique and Guimaras with 162,925 and 128,256, respectively.
Cristine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, earlier said the bulk of these tourist arrivals are contributed by the cities of Bacolod, Sipalay, San Carlos, Kabankalan, Cadiz and Talisay, and the town of Murcia.
Mansinares said more tourists are coming to these localities as they have beach resorts, relaxation and nature offerings apart from their festivals.
They also have more accommodation establishments, tourism infrastructure support, and numerous activities and attractions to offer, she added.
Mansinares said they will continue to strengthen their promotion and marketing initiatives as the province targets to increase its tourist arrivals by 10 percent this year.
“We urge our tourism personnel and stakeholders to continue actively promoting their sustainable tourism programs and upgrading the level of tourism services,” she added.