The Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) reported that the jump in the number of resorts in Iloilo province helped boost tourist arrivals in 2019.
Gilbert Marin, PTO head, said in an interview that the number of resorts increased from 219 in 2018 to 234 in 2019, resulting in a rise in the number of visitors to 387,646, with 381,610 domestic tourists and 6,036 foreign tourists last year.
“Our tourist arrivals in 2019 is higher than that recorded in 2018 with 347,375,” Marin said.
He noted that despite the closure of the famous Sicogon Island to tourists last year, resulting in a loss of more or less 20,000 tourist arrivals in 2019, the PTO was still successful in attaining an increase in the number of arrivals.
“In 2019, we documented more resorts with 234, versus that in 2018 with 219. We are expecting more resorts coming up,” Marin said.
The rise in tourist arrivals likewise jacked up by 11.59 percent the province’s tourism receipts.
“In 2018, we (had) PHP6.3-billion tourist receipts while in 2019, we (had) PHP7-billion tourist receipts,” he said.
Marin also underscored the importance of data gathering by local tourism offices.
Resorts in Iloilo municipalities now use a logbook to document tourists that come in, he said.
“Instead of giving us estimates, they are now using logbooks of the actual data. Our data coming from the resorts are reliable data,” Marin said.
For 2020, the PTO said local government units have committed to submit a quarterly tourist arrival report.
The PTO also campaigns for more tourist establishments to become accredited by the Department of Tourism.
As of February 18, the province of Iloilo has accredited two transport operators, 10 resorts, one hotel, five accommodation houses, two restaurants, one wellness spa, and 24 tour guides. (PNA)