Albay expects 4.9-M visitors in next 10 years

December 1, 2015 11:21 am 

MANILA, Nov. 30 — Ten years from now, Albay might just have as many visiting tourists as the Philippines has by the end of 2015.

“If you look forward from 2015 to 2025, we are really looking at 4.9-million tourist arrivals from only one million this year,” Albay governor Joey Salceda said during the recently concluded Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PATA) Forum 2015 held in Legazpi from Nov 25 to 27.

Data from the local government of Albay showed that a total of 958, 931 tourists (634, 599 domestic and 324, 332 foreign) went to Albay in 2014. It is currently looking at a 14 percent increase in tourist arrivals by yearend.

The Department of Tourism (DOT), for its part, hopes to lure 5.2-million tourists by yearend and 6-million tourists by the end of 2016.

Salceda said that its 2025 target would be driven by its hosting of the Philippine National Games next year, the opening of the Bicol International Airport by 2018, the Bicol Express railway by 2021, and continued investments.

He said that the province was currently entering an “investment driven growth phase” with a number of international hotel brands also set to be put up soon.

Aside from these developments, Salceda also emphasized the importance of using tourism in Albay as an instrument to climate change adaptation and mitigation, intercultural understanding, and economic inclusion.

“Tourism forces us to become green,” Salceda, an eco-tourism champion said.

He stressed that since tourism was one of the “best, biggest producers of jobs”, people were inclined to protect the environment.

”Why do tourists go to Bicol? Because of culture, nature, and environment. We have to fill up all those niches,” he added. (PNA)

RMA/ANP

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