EXCURSIONISTS favor Negros Occidental, Iloilo Province and Guimaras for day trips, according to the 2016 same-day visitor annual report released by the Department of Tourism (DOT)-6.
Western Visayas record 5,431,691 same-day visitors last year. A total of 1.9 million visitors went to Negros Occidental, 1 million went to Province of Iloilo and 621,172 tourists visited the island of Guimaras.
DOT-6 director, Atty. Helen J. Catalbas cited connectivity, accessibility, proximity of tourist attractions to each other and from town center and complementing tourism products influenced bulk visitors to visit these provinces.
“Iloilo is an international gateway with the presence of Iloilo International Airport. Guimaras is 15-minutes boat ride from Iloilo City while Negros Occidental is an hour away from Iloilo via ferry, an hour away from Manila and 45-minutes away from Cebu via Bacolod-Silay Airport. This increased connectivity provided opportunities for more tourists to visit Western Visayas,” Catalbas said.
Catalbas also stressed that tourism products of these provinces complement each other such as nature-based tourism, cultural tourism, diving and marine sports tourism and educational tourism, among others.
“We encourage our tourism establishments to upgrade and improve their facilities and services to entice more tourists to stay longer in their area of responsibility. The longer the length of stay of the tourists, the more they spend, the greater revenue for the community. With collaborative effort, Western Visayas will surely become a much-desired tourist destination, not only in the Philippines but in Southeast Asia”, Director Catalbas declared. (KJS)