Tourist arrivals eyed to reach 523,842 by 2016-A A +A
Monday, September 17, 2012
EASTERN Visayas aims to increase tourist arrival from 207,957 in 2011 to 523,842 in 2016, targeting domestic visitors from Europe and other five countries, the Tourism department said, citing the tourism sectoral plan.
The newly completed sectoral plan, which will be launched on the last week of September, has tagged nature, history and culture, sun and beach, conference and events, education, and diving and marine sports as major contributor to the more than doubled projected growth.
Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said tourism stakeholders identified the six tourism products that enrich tourist experience and boost product diversification.
Of the 523,842 target number of tourists, 485,385 are domestic and the rest are foreigners. The plan eyes tourist from the region, Central Visayas, and National Capital Region and targets foreign tourists from USA, Australia, Japan, Europe, Korea, and China.
Drawing visitors from two other regions are more realistic, according to Tiopes because of direct flights to Manila and Cebu. More than half of the region’s domestic visitors in 2011 are from the two areas, according to the tourist satisfaction survey conducted last year.
Tourists from six foreign areas are consistent in visiting the region’s destinations for the past years.
Stakeholders identified destinations in Tourism Development Areas in Northeast Leyte, Northwest – Biliran, Southern Leyte, West, East, and Northern Samar.
Tipoes said they listed high impact projects in a timetable that are doable within the next three years supported by the government and private sector.
Major activities include improving Tacloban airport terminal and facilities, design and launch Eastern Visayas tourism website, install Eastern Visayas tourism billboards at international airports, conduct training for industry frontliners, install signages along roads leading to tourist sites, organize tourism caravan, and familiarization tours by December 2012 and April 2013.
Among the most visited sites in the region are the Divinubo Eco Tour Park in Borongan City, Eastern Samar; Sohoton Cave in Basey, Samar; St. Francis Xavier, Maasin City in Southern Leyte; Hindag-an Falls in St. Bernard, Southern Leyte; Paru-parong Bukid in Babatngon, Leyte; Bontoc Cave in Hindang, Leyte; Tabuk Marine Park in Palompon, Leyte; Sibugay Mountain Resort in Albuera, Leyte; First Mass Shrine in Lisamawa, Southern Leyte; Kalanggaman Island in Palompon, Leyte. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)