The Provincial Tourism Office recorded 1.7 million in tourist arrivals in Negros Occidental last year, which is 7 percent higher compared to 2016, records showed.
In the visitor arrival report given to the media yesterday, PTO recorded 1,724,133, which is 7 percent higher than the 2016 record of 1,614,320.
Provincial Supervising Tourism Operations officer Cristine Mansinares said yesterday that theincrease is attributed to the meetings, incentives, conventions, and events (MICE) held in the province, as well as the coming in of visiting friends and relatives, who filled the hotels and other accommodation facilities in Negros.
The records also showed that of the 1.7 million visitors, 1,609,066were domestic tourists, while 114,686 were foreigners, and 381 overseas Filipinos.
The 2016 records showed that there were 1,510,161 domestic, 103,042 foreign, and 1,117 overseas Filipino tourists who visited Negros.
Mansinares also noted that Bacolod City is the local government unit in the province with the highest tourist arrivals, followed by Murcia where Mambukal is situated, and the cities of Sipalay, San Carlos, Kabankalan, Cadiz, and Talisay.
The increase in arrivals is also notable due to months with long weekends and stepped-up marketing efforts of the Bacolod LGU and the provincial government.
The record also showed that Americans are the top visitors with 14,839, followed by Koreans with 12,629, Japanese with 7,596, Australians with 6,972, and Russians with 5,303.
Other foreign nationalities who visited the province were Chinese (4,858 individuals), German (4,460), Canadian (4,070), British (3,088), and French (2,995).
Mansinares also said that they are targeting a 10 percent increase in arrivals this year, especially that Negros will celebrate the 25 thPanaadsa Negros Festival, and the additional Clark-Bacolod flights.
She also said that the provincial government will sustain the best tourism practices being observed by LGUs in Negros, and also urged tourism stakeholders to level up the kind of service they offer to tourists.*MLG
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