Arrivals rose by 12.5%

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Saturday, January 11, 2014


TOURIST arrivals in Central Visayas between January and October 2013 increased by 12.50 percent over the same period in 2012.

A partial report from the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 showed that 2.76 million tourists visited the region during the 10-month period, which represents 90.81 percent of the 3.03-million tourist arrivals target for 2013.

Foreign tourists, during this period, stood at 1.14 million, while 1.64 million domestic arrivals were logged. The annual targets were 1.4 million foreign tourists and 1.7 million domestic tourists, respectively.

In earlier interviews, Rowena Montecillo, regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7, said she remains confident the region will still hit the 3.03-million target for 2013, despite the twin calamities the sector went through.

Fewer from Japan

The M7.2 earthquake last Oct. 15 damaged several of the region’s tourist attractions, like the historic churches of Bohol. Super typhoon Yolanda, which hit the Visayas around three weeks later, further damaged other tourist draws, like beach resorts.

“We were able to attract more tourists prior to the calamities,” Montecillo said. “We had a strong first three quarters.”

Cebu, in particular, logged two million tourist arrivals, up by 9.35 percent.

Majority of the region’s top travel markets during the period recorded growth in arrivals, except for Japan whose arrivals slightly dropped by 1.72 percent or 170,201 from 173,186 in 2012.

Korea is still the region’s main source of tourists with 456,776 arrivals or 24.99 percent growth from 365,450 in 2012. After Japan, USA came third with arrivals at 92,355, up by 5.46 percent.

Arrivals from China, likewise, increased by 1.55 percent from 48,552 in 2012 to 49,304. Australia, on the other hand, grew by 19.19 percent or 32,819.

Completing the top 10 markets are Taiwan with 27,544 arrivals up by 7.76 percent; followed by Canada at 22,497 or 71.04 percent growth; Germany, with an increase of 1.82 percent or 20,370 arrivals; United Kingdom with 19,617 arrivals, up by 12.10 percent; and France with 18.21 percent growth or 16,920 arrivals.

DOT 7’s total tourism arrival target for 2014 is pegged at 3.66 million, with foreign arrivals accounting for 1.77 million and domestic at 1.87 million.

The country’s total arrivals for the first 10 months of 2013 recorded a double-digit gain of 11.19 percent or 3.87 million compared to 3.48 arrivals in 2012. The DOT said the 10-month arrival represents 70.32 percent of the targeted 5.5 million arrivals for 2013.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 11, 2014.

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