The Department of Tourism (DOT) Central Visayas tallied approximately 6.9 million tourist arrivals from January to December 2017 largely surpassing the 6.3 million target for the said year, and recording a 17.13% growth rate from 2016.
The active movement of the Filipinos traveling to different destinations in the Philippines has benefited Cebu and the rest of Central Visayas region, as domestic travelers dominate the arrival volume of 58.33% with 4 million visiting the four provinces in the region, namely Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.
The top ten tourism markets recorded by DOT Region VII include: Korea, with the highest number of tourist population, noted to be 895, 776 in total; followed by China with a volume of 429, 306 and has the highest growth rate among the top ten markets; Japan with 408, 566; and USA with 219, 796.
Moreover, the DOT Region VII also recorded a total of 71, 739 visitors coming from Taiwan; Australia came in sixth with 71, 724; Germany with 58, 432, followed by France with 50, 257, and the United Kingdom with 49, 484, and finally, Canada comes in tenth with 43, 084 registered tourists.
Among the major tourist hubs in Central Visayas is Cebu City, which was noted to rake in majority of the numbers presented above.
DOT Region VII also noted that the tourist influx can be attributed to the increase of direct international commercial and chartered flights to Cebu from other countries.
Cebu and Bohol have become a choice venue for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE), including the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings last year.
The DOT and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), together with the Local Government Units (LGUs), have implemented a massive promotions run on the region, thus resulting into a strong social media presence, which gave stakeholders a platform for promoting their own products.
The implementation of the Tourism Road Infrastructure Projects (TRIP) has since provided greater access to tourist sites in the region.
The tourism industry in the region was also further strengthened as the DOT ensured the execution of training and workshops for LGUs and private stakeholders, on the diversification of tourism product offerings.
Also Read: The Hidden Paradise of Cebu