Albay sees 14% jump in tourist arrivals
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - October 6, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The province of Albay in Bicol is seeing close to 1.1 million tourist arrivals by year-end following an improved marketing strategy and additional agri-eco tourism sites.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda said he expects a 14 percent increase from the 953,000 domestic and international tourists last year. Foreign arrivals reached 339,000 while local tourists totaled 614,000 in 2014.

He also said Albay was among those affected by the kidnapping case in Samal Island last Sept. 21 despite the wide distance between the two areas and lost around 30,000 expected arrivals.

“We lost them in an instant. A lot of places were actually affected,” Salceda said during the Department of Tourism (DOT) Christmas Countdown for Southern Tagalog.

Furthermore, Albay is also targeting nearby cities including Hong Kong, Incheon, Bangkok and Singapore once the region’s international airport opens in 2019 which is expected to boost arrivals as direct flights will be available.

The province is also set to host the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) New Tourism Frontiers Forum in November with 450 expected delegates that aim to transcend climate change through eco-tourism.

Albay is recognized by the United Nations as the model for adapting to the impacts of climate change after it recovered from the 2006 calamity that destroyed 46 percent of the province’s gross domestic product.

Since then, it increased its forest cover to 88 percent and its mangroves to 2,400 hectares from 700 hectares. In 2014, it built 320 kilometers of roads that provided access to new destinations.

ALBAY ALBAY GOVERNOR JOEY SALCEDA BANGKOK AND SINGAPORE CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM HONG KONG NEW TOURISM FRONTIERS FORUM PACIFIC ASIA TRAVEL ASSOCIATION SAMAL ISLAND SOUTHERN TAGALOG UNITED NATIONS
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