TWO years after the shutdowns brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, tourism in this Freeport is on its way to recovery.

This is according to Clark Development Corporation Tourism and Promotions Division Manager Noemi B. Julian.

“Clark tourism is picking up,” Julian shared during the Pampanga Press Club’s monthly News at Hues press briefing at Park Inn by Radisson Clark Hotel.

In a report, Julian shared Clark logged 640,353 tourist arrivals in 2021 or about 77.22 percent of the province of Pampanga’s tourist arrivals.

“This figure makes Clark the fourth top destination in the Philippines,” Julian said.

In Central Luzon, Clark also ranked second in terms of the regional distribution of overnight travelers.

Visitor arrivals increased by more than 84 percent compared to the same period last year (554,621) as more than a million tourists flocked to Clark from January to June 2022.

All visitor categories recorded increases - some more dramatic than others. The number of same-day guests rose by 147 percent (189,970), airport arrivals by 242 percent (60,914), and overnight guests by 1 percent (303,737).

Julian said the launch of Clark International Airport’s Terminal 2, resumption of large-scale outdoor events, reclassification of Pampanga to Alert Level 1, reopening of Aqua Planet, and opening of new tourism-related establishments contributed to the revitalization of tourism in the Freeport.

“Clark’s tourism sector is, evidently, gaining steam: the figures for the entirety of 2021 amounted to 1,362,388 pax, while the first half of 2022 already welcomed 1,024,987 tourists to the Freeport zone,” she reported.

Tourism facilities in Clark include 98 convention and meeting facilities including the newly-opened SMX Convention Clark; 3,648 hotel rooms; 16 sports facilities including casinos and golf clubs; 13 attractions including theme parks, museums, and parks; 142 dining outlets; and 16 other tourism facilities including shopping, wellness, and medical facilities.