The provinces of Iloilo, Guimaras and Negros Occidental were the most preferred destinations in Western Visayas by excursionists for their day trips in 2016.
The Department of Tourism (DOT-6) recorded a total of 5, 431, 691 same-day visitors last year. Of the figure, 1.9 million went to Negros Occidental, 1 million to Iloilo province and 621, 172 to Guimaras.
DOT-6 Director Helen J. Catalbas cited connectivity, accessibility, proximity of tourist attractions to each other and from town centers, and complementing tourism products influenced bulk visitors to visit these provinces.
“Iloilo is an international gateway with the presence of the Iloilo International Airport. Guimaras is 15 minutes away by boat from Iloilo City, while Negros Occidental is an hour away from Iloilo via ferry, an hour away from Manila and 45 minutes away from Cebu via plane. This increased connectivity provided opportunities for more tourists to visit Western Visayas,” Catalbas said.
She stressed that tourism products of these provinces complement each other such as nature-based tourism, cultural tourism, diving and marine sports tourism and educational tourism, among others.
The regional director urged tourism establishments in WV to upgrade and improve their facilities and services to entice more tourists to stay longer in their respective areas of responsibility.
“The longer the length of stay of the tourists, the more they spend, the greater revenue for the community. With collaborative effort, Western Visayas will surely become a much-desired tourist destination, not only in the Philippines but in Southeast Asia,” Catalbas said. IMT