The Provincial Tourism Office will step up its tourism promotion in Central Luzon and its neighboring provinces to attain the 10 percent increase in tourist arrivals for 2018.
Provincial Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Cristine Mansinares said that, as a new flight route opened from the Bacolod-Silay International Airport to Clark International Airport in Pampanga, good tourism promotion is needed to attract people from Luzon to go to Negros.
Earlier, PTO reported a 1.7 million tourist arrivals in the province in 2017 which is seven percent higher than 2016, and Mansinares said that they are projecting a 10 percent increase from that record this year.
In an interview this week, Mansinares said that despite the challenges the region is facing in maintaining the increase in tourist arrivals, the PTO of Neg. Occ. will still continue to increase its efforts to attract national and international visitors to come to the province.
The records also showed that, of the 1.7 million visitors, 1,609,066 were domestic tourists, while 114,686 were foreigners, and 381 overseas Filipinos.
The record also showed that Americans are the top visitors with 14,839, followed by 12,629Koreans, 7,596Japanese, 6,972Australians, and Russians with 5,303.
The Bacolod-Clark flight route was inaugurated in December last year, in line with the sisterhood agreement of Neg. Occ. and Pampanga.
The flights are ongoing every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the week through Philippine Airlines Airbus 320 that can accommodate 180 passengers per flight.
The schedule of flights is 7 a.m. from Clark Airport, and 8:45 a.m. from the Bacolod-Silay Airport.
“Central Luzon alone is a big market and we need to strengthen our marketing efforts in its provinces, as there is already a direct flight going there through the Bacolod-Clark route,” she said.
Meanwhile, with the issue of Boracay being eyed for closure if its problems are unsolved, Mansinares also said that they are making sure that every resort in the province is compliant with environmental standards and with other permits the government asked from them.
She said that continued monitoring of the resorts around Negros, through the respective local government units,is being done.*MLG
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