CLARK FREEPORT -- Clark’s world-class tourism facilities and services continue to attract foreign and local visitors as seen in the increase in last year’s tourist arrivals here by 2.27 percent or 42, 622.
In the 2016 Annual Report, the Tourism Promotions Division of CDC (CDC-TPD) stated that Clark registered a total of 1,916,700 tourists in 2016 compared to 1,874,078 in 2015.
Between 2015 and 2016, arrival numbers to Clark International Airport rose from 423,332 to 457, 283.
Of the total tourist arrivals in 2015, 1,001,980 are hotel guests inside the Freeport, while 448,766 were same day tourists. In 2016, 1,106,535 visitors registered as hotel guests, of which 352,882 were day tourists.
This figure included seven hotels in 2015 and 13 hotels in 2016. Other major visitor points include passenger arrivals in Clark airport, educational tours, guests at Clark Museum, special events and use of parks and open spaces here.
CDC President and CEO Noel F. Manankil recognized tourism as a strong driver of social and economic development.
Only 90 kilometers away from Manila, the availability of accessible venues and services provide guests various choices on where to go and what to book.
Some of the efforts to promote tourism here include the staging of CDC-organized Clark Festival 2016, which posted an estimated 26,350 visitors last December 3 and 4 as compared to 23,000 visitors in 2015. It also set a record having collected P1.890 million worth of sponsorships which was the highest since its inception in 2013.
Adding fun and promoting a connection to its stakeholders, CDC’s promotional mascot, “Clarkey”, was officially launched during Clark Festival.
Clark is also a preferred venue for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE). This Freeport hosted the APEC 1st Senior Officials Meeting (APEC SOM 1) and will be the site for Association of South East Asian Nation leaders (ASEAN) summit 2017.
This Freeport was named the Sports Destination of the Year for hosting various sports tourism events, including racing competitions, Frisbee games, car shows, and widely attended Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. The said Clark’s signature event welcomes more than 110,000 local and foreign visitors yearly.
As the administrator of this Freeport, CDC recognizes the importance for tourism providers to develop and improve their services. It can be recalled that CDC and the regional of the Department of Tourism III (DOT-3) signed a Memorandum of Agreement on January 23 to enforce the accreditation of tourism enterprises here that will be jointly undertaken by CDC and DOT-3.
At present, Clark has over 2,000 hotel rooms, 63 convention and meeting facilities, 75 dining facilities, eight wellness facilities, and five hospitals. The Freeport also has six casinos, four golf courses, international racetrack and other sports facilities, including seven shopping centers, 20 banks, 12 convenience stores and six petrol depot.