Cebu Records Highest Foreign Arrivals In Rp

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CEBU, Philippines - Even as Cebu emerged only as the second most visited destination during the first half of 2009, it turned out to be the top preferred destination for foreign visitors in the entire Philippines. A record from the Department of Tourism Planning and Promotions Department, revealed that Cebu generated a total of 321,116 foreign tourists in the first semester of this year and topped the over-all foreign arrival comparative by provinces.The record, however, showed that Cebu only comes second in the most visited destination in the country next to Camarines Sur, which posted a hefty growth in both foreign and domestic arrivals by 52 percent and 260 percent, respectively, ranking it as the most visited destination in the first six months this year.Cebu emerged as second most visited tourist destination with 830,599 visitors, claiming 23 percent share of total arrival. But, Cebu continues to be the top destination for foreign tourists with 321,116 in the first semesterDOT attributed its sustained position of Cebu as top foreign tourists drawer, the expansion in air access from major tourist markets, including the new chartered flights from Incheon, Busan, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Kaohsiung as well as increase in room supply, aggressive promotion, public and private sector partnership to diversify the tourism products greatly contributed to the hike in visitor volume to Cebu.Visitor count in Puerto Princesa and Bohol went up by 63 percent and 16 percent, respectively, as diving, ecotourism, bird-watching, adventure and incentive tourism products were jointly launched by the DOT, LGUs and the private sector.Increased demand also ushered the conception of more community-based tourism products that increased the availability of product offering and livelihood for local residents.Overall, tourist arrivals in the top 16 tourism destinations went up by 16.5 percent reaching close to four million in the first semester of 2009.According to DOT its efforts to maximize opportunities in international markets and encourage greater domestic travel movement in the first six months provided the impetus to sustain tourism growth in the midst of challenges brought by the global financial crisis and Influenza A (H1N1).This feat is attributed to the substantial increase in domestic tourism by 20 percent in the second quarter of 2009, which enhanced the business and investment confidence in the sector during the period January to June 2009.Likewise, the changing lifestyle and travel pattern of more Filipinos and Philippine residents to spend their Holy Week, long weekends and summer/ holiday vacation in the various tourist areas of the country boosted tourist flow.Foreign arrivals in key destinations also increased by 6% in the first half of the year despite a decrease of six percent in inbound visitors into East Asia and the Pacific.Other most frequently visited destinations included Boracay (383,813); Davao City (330,247); Puerto Galera (215,755); and Ilocos Norte with 99,747 tourist arrivals.

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