Iloilo City has overtaken the province of Aklan in terms of tourist arrivals.
The number of tourists who visited the city, based on data released by the Department of Tourism (DOT-6), reached 1.24 million last year, higher by 15.33 percent compared to 2017’s figure.
This year, the city’s tourist arrivals are projected to increase further up to 1.4 million.
Iloilo City dethroned Aklan. Tourist arrivals in the province, which is known for its Boracay Island, decreased by 50.32 percent to 1.1 million in 2018.
DOT-6 Director Atty. Helen J. Catalbas attributed the decline to the six-month closure of the world-famous island.
Negros Occidental came in third with 920, 242 tourist arrivals, followed by Bacolod City (835, 453), Iloilo province (347, 354), Capiz (265, 662), Guimaras (133, 525), and Antique (108, 220).
Of the cities and provinces in Western Visayas, only Antique posted a decrease in tourist arrivals by some 33.6 percent.
All in all, the region welcomed 4.96 million local and foreign tourists last year, down by 15.33 percent.
The region’s tourism receipts also went down by 18.6 percent to some P105 billion last year from P129 billion in 2017.IMT