The Department of Tourism (DOT) has asked local government officials in Southern Leyte to actively gather and provide tourism statistics in their respective localities.
DOT Eastern Visayas Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said on Wednesday that in her recent dialogue with mayors in the second district of Southern Leyte, she emphasized the value of tourism statistics in asking national government agencies to finance infrastructure projects leading to tourist sites.
“Local officials cannot just say that many tourists visit a specific tourist destination because that is very broad. You have to make sure that you have available tourism statistics,” Tiopes said in a phone interview.
Of the top 10 most visited destinations in Eastern Visayas in 2021, three are in Southern Leyte. These are Limasawa Island, San Pablo and San Pedro in Hinunangan town, and Sogod Bay.
In the first six months of 2022, Pacific towns in Southern Leyte recorded 185,632 daytime tourists, contributing a big chunk to the 411,207 arrivals in Eastern Visayas.
Sogod Bay has more than 30 dive sites and currently has only two dive operators both in Padre Burgos town in the first district that are bringing in tourists.
The market of the diving industry in the province is foreign tourists who usually stay for weeks or months. (PNA)