TOURIST arrivals in Misamis Oriental posted a slight decrease in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter, this year, but data showed the statistics surpassed the total number of tourist arrivals in 2017.
Data from the Provincial Tourism Department showed that nearly 900,000 foreign and domestic tourists have visited the different tourism destinations in the province from July to September, this year.
With this figure, the province has earned around P30 million.
Lawyer Jeffrey Saclot, head of the Provincial Tourism Department, said the decrease of tourist arrivals from the second quarter, which posted 1.5 million, was a normal trend because summer break and holy week observance fall in the second quarter.
"Normally taas gyud ang tourist arrivals sa second quarter kay diha man ang summer break ug ang holy week and to think we have so many religious sites nga gaanhaan sa mga tourists," Saclot said.
He said tourist arrivals for the third quarter alone exceeded the total number of tourist arrivals in 2017 which only recorded around half million.
"Mas dako pa ang third quarter nga figure alone compare sa entire year last year," he added.
Saclot also noted that other towns have yet to submit their data which means that the close to one million tourist arrivals for the third quarter may still shoot up.
He explained that the temporary closure of the Sagpulon falls, which is among the top tourist destinations in the province, was also a contributing factor for the decrease of tourist arrivals.
Sagpulon falls was closed temporarily following an incident that killed a 12-year-old boy and injured four others last September 29.
"I would like to believe nga usa siya sa reason nga nagamay kay usa ang Sagpulon sa gaanhan gyud," Saclot said.
He said they are still awaiting the recommendation of the board and the management of Sagpulon whether the said tourism site will only be for viewing purpose momentarily pending further study and investigation to ensure similar incident will not happen again.
Saclot said tourist arrivals will likely to increase in the last quarter because of the yuletide season.