THE number of local and foreign tourists who visited Iloilo City surpassed the one-million mark in 2017.
There were 1,076,976 tourists who visited in 2017 which is higher by 8.25 percent than that of 994,923 arrivals in 2016, based on the data of City Tourism and Development Office (CTDO).
Bulk of last year’s arrivals were recorded during festival season with 97,732 in January when the city celebrated Dinagyang Festival; and 92,559 in February with Paraw Regatta.
There was influx of guests with 100,228 in March when the city hosted several meetings of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
There were 89,216 arrivals in April; 83,089 in May; 76,942 in June; 81,453 in July; 89,314 in August; 78,289 in September; and 89,814 in October.
Arrivals also peaked during holiday season with 98,988 in November; and 99,352 in December.
There were 28,504 foreigners; 1,066 overseas Filipinos; and 1,047,406 Filipinos who visited the metropolis last year.
Mayor Jose Espinosa III said the increase in tourist arrivals only signified that Iloilo City continues to be a favorite tourism destination.
“We are glad that Iloilo City has been recognized across the globe. Rest assured that the City Government will not take a rest in sustaining this development. We will likewise ensure that with the help of our police personnel, visitors are secured and safe during their stay here,” Espinosa said.
The mayor added the increasing tourist arrivals could be attributed to Iloilo City as Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (Mice) destination.
Local Economic and Investment Promotions Office (Leipo) head Ritchel Gavan said the rising tourist arrivals contributed to the local economy.
“Many tourists spend three days to one week as they dine in restaurants, go to souvenir shops, and stay in hotels in the city,” said Gavan.
Local tourists spend P2,833 per day while foreign tourists spend P3,926 based on the data of Department of Tourism.
Addressing the demand, there are a number of new hotels and accommodation facilities that opened recently and the upcoming Courtyard by Marriott Hotel of Megaworld at Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao and SotoGrande of Sta. Lucia in Jaro district. (PR)