Western Visayas remains a favorite destination in the Philippines for both local and foreign tourists, according to Department of Tourism (DOT)-6.
DOT-6 reported that partial tourist arrivals from January to June 2017 totalled 2 million.
Lawyer Helen Catalbas, DOT-6 regional director, said that Western Visayas will reach its 5.5 million tourist arrivals target for 2017.
“The target is more than 300,000 over the 2016 tourist arrivals of 5.193 million,” she said.
Data from DOT-6 showed that Aklan was the most visited province, registering 1.1-million tourist arrivals for the first six months of the year.
Iloilo City is second with 410,061 tourist arrivals for the period January to May 2017, and Bacolod City with 269,232 tourist arrivals for the period January to April 2017.
Catalbas also commended Antique for its intensified efforts in promoting tourism of the province with 43,277 tourist arrivals from January to March 2017. The figure was barely 32 percent away from its 63,613 January to December tourist arrivals in 2016.
She cited assisted familiarization tours, photo and video shoots, product update, and international meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) events in the past six months to have contributed to this accomplishment.
“DOT Region-6 has assisted and hosted various events and activities to ensure that Western Visayas is promoted to the right market,” she said.
Among those assisted include travel agents and media from Taiwan, university officials from Korea and top Chinese agents from Shanghai, China – all top foreign tourist markets of Western Visayas.
DOT-6 also hosted the photo/video shoots of Eastgate Publishing’s The Bucket List Philippines, DOT, PCOO and PTV4’s ITravel Pinas, and SET TV, Formosa TV and Apple News Daily from Taiwan. (PIA-Iloilo)