CAGAYAN de Oro City and Camiguin province made it to the list of top 14 tourist destinations in the country in 2009, according the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Tourist arrivals in Cagayan de Oro last year increased to 10.44 percent; Camiguin rose to 5.82 percent. Tourist arrivals for top destination Cebu grew by 1.2 percent.

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

The biggest growth rate in tourism was recorded in Camarines Sur at 117.2 percent; the smallest in Baguio City by -5.50 percent. The province, known for its water sports, holds the second spot.

Metro Manila is the third most visited destination with tourist volume of 1.4 million, accounting for 16 percent of the total tourist count with the help of the opening of 1,056 new hotel rooms.

Other tourist destinations which belong in the top 14 are: Davao City (2.17 percent), Boracay (2.41 percent), Zambales (4.79 percent), Bohol (10.91 percent), Puerto Princesa City (21.29 percent), Cagayan Valley (0.11 percent), Negros Oriental (8.67 percent) and Ilocos Norte (5.40 percent).

Total tourist traffic in the top 14 destinations reached 8.9 million to hit the 14 percent growth.

DOT attributes the increase to the efforts of the private sector, local government units and other stakeholders that continually diversify the tourism products, said Tourism Secretary Ace Durano.

Tourist traffic in the top destinations is forecast to grow by 15 percent this year as domestic travel movement continues to increase and international tourist markets slowly recover from the economic crisis. (Sun.Star/Sunnex)