Central Luzon tourist arrivals hit 3.1M in 2014

March 10, 2015 4:19 am 

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, March 9 — Central Luzon is becoming one of the leading regional destinations in the country as domestic visitor arrivals hit the next level at 3.1 million arrivals from January to December 2014 or an increase of 21 percent as against 2.7 million in 2013.

Ronaldo Tiotuico, regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 3, said the arrival figures are based on monthly survey reports submitted by accommodation establishments in the region.

Tiotuico also said that the figures represent those foreign tourists or Filipino travelers that found themselves vacationing in the various provinces in the region, thus are called domestic travelers.

Of the total arrivals, Filipinos represent a large population of the travelers or a share of 72 percent of the total arrivals while arrivals of foreign nationality represented a share of 1.54 percent.

In 2014, travelers of Chinese descent represented the biggest population among foreign visitors at 12.5 percent (or 390,431) of the total arrivals while travelers of American descent came in second at 3.08 percent (or 95,737); Koreans on the third slot at 1.8 percent (55,692); and Singaporeans on fourth place at 1.00 percent (31,200).

Among the provinces and cities in the region, Subic Bay Freeport and Zambales occupied the first slot with 1.2 million tourist arrivals while Clark and Pampanga/Angeles City came in second with 621,000; Bataan with 199,000; Bulacan, with 109,000; Aurora with 108,000, among others.

The average occupancy rate for accommodation establishments in the region stood at 62 percent while length of stay for travelers stood at 22 nights with over 1.2 available rooms during the year.

Meanwhile, at the Clark International Airport, total air arrivals stood at 384,221 in 2014 based on Bureau of Immigration arrival cards of air passengers from various destinations.

Of the total arrivals, 61 percent or 236,162 are of Filipino nationality while Koreans represented 14.7 percent or 56,591; USA residents at .061 percent or 23,691.

Tiotuico has attributed the unprecedented increase in visitor arrivals to the region in 2014 to the significant developments in Clark and Subic – two of the most favored destinations, among other places of interest.

He said that among the events that triggered movement of people include the conduct of M.I.C.E. convention in June of last year which propelled the region to higher ground as the convention capital in the North Philippines if not in the entire country.

As a result, the DOT regional office will come up with an audio-visual production or documentary on the potential of the region as such.

Also, paving the way for the development of the region as a major destination is the province of Aurora with its annual surfing event in February.

"The event never ceases to attract foreign and local aqua sports enthusiasts," he said.

Likewise, he said the recent infrastructure improvement at the Clark terminal to a high of four million passenger capacity paved the way for the recognition of the airport as one of the most preferred gateways in the country.

Tiotuico also said that the energized re-constitution of the Association of Tourism Officers of Central Luzon (ATOCEL) played a vital role in developing the region as a major destination with the recent hosting of a number of major festivals and events in most cities and municipalities.

He said the participation of the region, including its private stakeholders and major players to major tourism and travel expositions in Cebu and Davao contributed in a significant way to the increase in arrivals to the region. (PNA)

LAP/ZST/PS

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