Negros, Bacolod, Aklan WV’s tourism flag-bearers

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Saturday, July 19, 2014


THE Province of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City as well as Aklan Province are considered flag-bearers of tourists arrivals in Western Visayas, said Tourism Regional Director Helen Catalbas.

Catalbas, who graced the opening of the 8th Travel Exchange at Robinsons Place Bacolod on Friday, said Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, has contributed one-third or 1.1 million tourists to the 3.5 million tourists who visited the region last year.

In 2013, a total of 1.3 million tourists arrived in Aklan, home to the world famous Boracay Island.

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The remaining one million tourists were distributed among Iloilo, Capiz, Guimaras and Antique.

"We thank the local government leaders here for a very efficient data collection because tourist arrival statistics are very important. They are sources of information that lead investors and financial institutions to fund tourism related projects. Investors should invest in our region because we have this much population. There are three million Negrenses and 1.1 million tourists," Catalbas said.

"You should also think about the 3.5 million tourists because they also form part of our population. We have two kinds of population. The resident population and the tourist population. We should all think of both because one cannot be without the other. Many of the things that we enjoy now as resident population are because of our rising tourist population,” the tourism official added.

The Department of Tourism has launched the "Experience Western Visayas First Campaign" to let its residents appreciate the region better.

The "Cruise and Drive" project is a new tourism product of Western Visayas with the use of roll-on, roll-off vessels.

“If we can tap only 50 percent of the 7.5 million Western Visayans or 3.25 million domestic and intra-regional tourists, that's already a lot plus our target of more than a 100 million Filipinos coming from other regions of the country. There is also the limitless international tourists' market,” Catalbas said.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 19, 2014.

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