BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Tourism (DOT-CAR) projected bright prospects for the region’s tourism industry this year with the sustainable increase in domestic and foreign arrivals in the different places of destination over the past several years.
Marie Venus Q. Tan, DOT-CAR regional director, said the significant improvement in the infrastructures around the region have greatly contributed in enticing domestic and foreign visitors to visit the scenic tourist spots regionwide because of the reduced travel time to the said destinations.
Last year, the region recorded some 1,216,735 domestic tourist and 1,267,920 foreign visitors with Baguio City registering over 1 million tourist arrivals from January to December.
In 2015, the region was able to register some 1,115,264 foreign tourist arrivals that contributed to the upliftment of the region’s tourism industry.
Tan explained the top foreign visitors are Europeans because of their love for culture and cultural immersions which are both present in the Cordillera.
According to her, Israelis wanting to visit the region are also increasing that is why it is imperative for the region to record continuous increase in domestic and foreign tourist arrival that will spur economic activities in the desired tourist destinations regionwide.
Aside from Europeans, the recorded foreign tourist arrivals came from East Asia composed of China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan; North America composed of Canada, United States of America and Mexico; Middle East composed of Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates; Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) composed of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam among others.
Tan said the tourism department will continue to be aggressive in the promotion of the various tourist destinations in the country to help entice domestic tourists to visit the beautiful spots in the country and for more foreign tourists to consider the Philippines as their preferred destination.
She added the increasing number of sports activities in the different parts of the region will also contribute in attracting more visitors to visit potential tourist spots that will help in promoting the region as a preferred ecotourism destination.
Tan admitted tourism is still the major economic driver of the region because of the existence of natural tourist spots that need investments for development but only proper care from the host communities to maintain the tourist spots as potential destinations in the said places.
The DOT-CAR official said the implementation of tourism road projects regionwide will continue this year in order to expand existing roads to tourist destinations that will help spur the influx of additional domestic and foreign visitors wanting to visit the scenic spots that the region has always been proud of over the past several years.