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Freeman Cebu Business

Department of Tourism bullish to hit 4M arrival target this year

Ehda Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Tourism Central Visayas (DOT-7) expressed confidence that it could hit the 4.4 million arrival target for 2015 as the region showed an upswing momentum in recent years.

DOT-7 regional director Rowena Montecillo said that Cebu continues to be the major contributor of arrival growth for this year, considering the number of local and international MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitors) scheduled to be held this year, like the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the launching of Visit Philippines.

As of September 2014, Central Visayas logged 2,830,768 arrivals up by 5.79 percent.

 Foreign tourists increased by 7.58 percent or 1,124,854 arrivals while domestic tourists grew by 4.45 percent or 1,696,670 arrivals.

Cebu registered 2,083,046 arrivals an increase of 5.68 percent compared to the same period last year.

Korea remains the region's tourism source with 434,131 arrivals up by 2.65 percent, followed by Japan with 180,470 arrivals (12.92 percent); US with 100, 405 arrivals (12.92 percent); China with 53, 991 arrivals (17.28 percent); and Australia with 36,445 arrivals (12.91 percent).

 With this encouraging trend, Montecillo is holding on to positive side, that the region will be able to hit the 4.4 million target, or even surpass it.

The "Visit Philippines" program that will be implemented in the early part of the year will bolster sector's promising journey, along with other tourism related programs that will be introduced, and infusion of more capital for tourism facilities across the country.

The whole-year round events punctuated by APEC, will make 2015 the best MICE year ever for the Philippines, and will provide high-yielding tourism receipts for the country in general.

 Players believe that the full implementation of ASEAN integration in 2015 will all the more expand the tourism activities, as free-movement movement of people, attractive inter-country destination packages within the ASEAN will be introduced, said Montecillo.

 Likewise, the private sector tourism players have projected that Cebu and the entire Central Visayas will see a much exciting tourism industry this year.

"The momentum is on our side. The spotlight again is here. International brands are here. New resorts are coming in. If only we can harness the momentum, " said tourism capitalist Jonathan Jay Aldeguer. (FREEMAN)

ARRIVALS AS OF SEPTEMBER ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION CEBU CENTRAL VISAYAS DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM CENTRAL VISAYAS JONATHAN JAY ALDEGUER MONTECILLO TOURISM VISIT PHILIPPINES
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