According to the Iloilo City Tourism and Development Office (CTDO), tourist arrivals increased by 15 percent between 2018 and 2017, with 1,241,010 tourist arrivals recorded last year, up from the 1,076,976 reported in the previous year.
“This increase in tourist arrivals only shows that more prefer to visit Iloilo City,” said Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III. “We have a lot of places to show our rich culture and history, more hotels to accommodate them, and facilities where they can hold their conventions and seminars.”
City Tourism Officer Junel Ann Divinagracia pointed out, based on when tourists visited, the city is drawing in more than those looking to participate in local festivals, such as the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival, which takes place in January.
“Unlike previous years, [when] peak tourist arrivals [were from] January to February due to festivals here, in 2018, the peak months were April, November, and December,” she explained. “This shows that people do not only come here because of festivals, but because we are the venue for meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions.”
“This increase in arrivals has [an] impact on us economically since visitors spent on accommodation, transportation, restaurants, and souvenirs,” the local tourism official added./WDJ