A TOTAL of 3.4 million tourists arrived in Central Visayas from January-November in 2014, up by 6.86 percent compared to the 3.2 million tourists logged during the same period in 2013.
The latest available data released by the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 show that both local and foreign tourist arrivals increased during those 11 months.
Local tourist arrivals grew by 4.96 percent and reached 2,051,820 while foreign tourist arrivals went up by 9.57 percent when the record reached 1,360,114.
Cebu recorded 2,517,487 arrivals, up by 5.85 percent. The province welcomed 1,366,838 local tourists, an increase of 4.58 percent from figures in the same period in 2013.
Foreign arrivals, on the other hand, stood at 1,142,012 or an increase of 7.17 percent.
South Korea maintained its position as the region’s largest tourism source, providing 531,907 arrivals. This market grew by 6.58 percent versus its year-ago arrivals of 499,078.
Arrivals from Japan grew the second fastest, at 15.47 percent or 217,008, while arrivals from USA grew by 13.79 percent or 121,151 persons. The China market, on the other hand, grew by 10.65 percent or 59,893 additional arrivals.
Completing the top five as sources of visitors to the region is Australia, from where 44,920 arrivals hailed. This market expanded by 15.95 percent from 38,740 in 2013.
Other high-yielding markets include the United Kingdom with 32,344 arrivals (40.79 percent growth), Germany with 26,660 (8.42 percent) and France with 20,205 arrivals (2.37 percent).
Arrivals from Canada, meanwhile, dropped by 15.50 percent from 24,571 in 2013 to 20,767 last year.
The DOT 7 remains optimistic as the agency draws closer to hitting the goal of 3.6 million tourist arrivals for the region in 2014.
Within reach, director says
Earlier, DOT 7 Director Rowena Montecillo said the goal was achievable because for one, Cebu’s twin tourism destination, Bohol, has already picked up since August of last year. Second, the tourism sectors of the two other provinces, Negros Oriental and Siquijor, are also doing well.
Montecillo said she remains confident the tourism sector would post a stellar growth this year as Cebu braces for a number of meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) events.
The DOT 7’s tourism target for 2015 is pegged at 4.4 million.
The Philippines welcomed a total of 3,955,399 visitors in January to October 2014, registering an increase of 2.28 percent over its previous year’s numbers for the same period, said the DOT.
International tourist receipts to the Philippines grew 7.14 percent to reach US$3.895 billion or P172.65 billion.
South Korea accounted for 28 percent of all international tourism receipts with P48.622 billion, followed by the United States (P33.61 billion), Australia (P11.04 billion), Japan (P8.98 billion), and China (P7.55 billion).