BACOLOD CITY – Negros Occidental, including its capital city of Bacolod, remained as the region’s second most popular tourism location, following Aklan province which includes the island of Boracay.
Data released by the Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 6 showed that Negros Occidental and Bacolod City have combined tourist arrivals of 1.72 million, or 29 percent of Western Visayas’ total visitors, last year.
Aklan last year had 2.2 million visitors, cornering 38 percent of the region’s tourist market.
Negros Occidental alone registered 892,199 in tourist arrivals; while Bacolod, one of the two highly-urbanized cities in Western Visayas, posted a total of 831,687 tourists.
In 2016, Negros Occidental, together with Bacolod City, was also in second spot with 1.65 million in tourist arrivals.
DOT-Western Visayas Regional Director Helen Catalbas said the region hit 5.85 million in domestic, foreign and overseas Filipino worker arrivals in 2017.
During the period, Region 6 generated about P128 billion in tourism receipts.
Cristine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, earlier said majority of the tourists visited the cities of Bacolod, Sipalay, San Carlos, Kabankalan, Cadiz, and Talisay, and municipality of Murcia.
These places have beach resorts and nature offerings, aside from festivals such as Bacolod’s MassKara, San Carlos’ Pintaflores, Kabankalan’s Sinulog, and Cadiz’s Dinagsa which draw big crowds every year.
Mansinares said the increase in the province’s tourist arrivals could also be attributed to its hosting of meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions in the past year.
In July 2017, Negros Occidental was also identified as the second most visited place in the country by Filipino domestic travelers, next only to National Capital Region, based on the results of the 2016 Household Survey on Domestic Visitors (HSDV) released by the Philippine Statistics Authority and Department of Tourism. (PNA)