THE Department of Tourism (DOT) revealed Saturday that Cebu was the top destination among the top 14 areas in 2009.

Although its tourist traffic only increased by 1.2 percent at 1.61 million compared to 1.59 million in 2008, Cebu held on to the top spot, thanks to the visits of Korean and Chinese tourists.

A hefty growth in tourists from Kuwait was also recorded, as students from these markets streamed to Cebu for short-educational programs.

The expansion of hotels and suites in Cebu also helped in the increase in tourism traffic with 804 new rooms opened in 2009.

This included the Imperial Palace Water Park, Resort and Spa (567 rooms), Citi Park Hotel (105 rooms), Alpa City Suites (84 rooms), Oftana Suites (24 rooms), and Grand Terra Suite (24 rooms).

Innovative and young entrepreneurs also prepped up existing tour packages in Cebu and nearby destination, according to DOT.

Existing heritage tour has been enhanced to allow tourists to experience the cultural and historical aspect of the city. (Sunnex)