The six provinces and two highly urbanized cities of Western Visayas (WV) recorded a significant increase in tourist arrivals, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT) Region VI 2014 complete tourist arrivals report.
The province of Aklan remains the most visited province in the region with 1,634,373 tourist arrivals, comprising 40 percent of the total tourist arrivals of the region in 2014 and noting a 9.52 percent increase in arrivals from 2013.
Aklan is followed by Iloilo City with 676,287 tourist arrivals or 7.71 percent higher than 2013 and Bacolod City with 647,021 tourist arrivals or 7.77 percent higher than 2013. Antique also noted a major increase in tourist arrivals, recording a 57.97 percent growth from its arrivals in 2013.
Boracay Island, with its high-end resorts and hotels and thousands of accommodation with complete amenities and facilities, is still the major contributor to Western Visayas’ booming tourism industry, covering 90 percent of the total tourist arrivals of the province of Aklan and 37.24 percent of the regions’ tourist arrivals. The island continues to lure foreign tourists from all over the world with Korea, China and Taiwan as its top foreign markets.
“The surge of the tourist arrivals for each province and the two highly urbanized cities of WV follow an upward trend every year. Aklan, specifically Boracay Island, is consistent in hosting huge number of tourists who are here to discover the beauty of the island by themselves or with the help of travel agents and tour operators,” said lawyer Helen J. Catalbas, regional director of the DOT-6
Recently, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) declared Boracay as its Favorite Beach Destination 2015 during a press conference before the annual travel expo showcasing travel and tour services. The numbers of Malaysians who visit the region escalate to 239.96 percent in 2014 over 2013 figure.
“Malaysians are now considered as the region’s growing foreign tourist market that recognizes Boracay as a primary tourist destination in the country. This is good news to all sectors in the region, especially those in tourism industry of WV,” Catalbas concluded. DOT/IMT