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Underground River visitors up by 37% in 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 January 2008

PUERTO PRINCESA City, Jan. 22 (PNA) -- Tourist arrivals at the St. Paul Subterranean River National Park (SSRNP), more famously known as “Underground River,” has continued to rise, with 63,271 visitors recorded in 2007.

James Albert Mendoza, park manager, said the tourist arrivals in the Underground River increased by 17,003 or 36.75 percent compared to 46,268 visitors in 2006.

Mendoza said of the figure, 46,185 or 77.74 percent were locals and 14,086 or 22.26 percent were foreigners.

He cited that from 18,233 in 2002, a year after the infamous 2001 Abu Sayyaf kidnapping incident in Dos Palmas Resort, the influx of tourists has continued.

The national park, located in Sitio Sabang of Barangay Cabayugan, some 81 kilometers from the city proper, was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Environment, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

It is said to be the longest navigable underground river in the world, running for eight kilometers, and spills out into the South China Sea.

It also features cathedral-like caverns and domes, with stalactite and stalagmite formations that resemble religious images.

Several endangered species of animals are regularly seen in the extensive lowland forest in the area, as well as a substantial number of Palawan Phesant Peacock and Philippine Cockatoo.

The park is likewise the favorite site of hikers, biologists, photographers, students and nature lovers. (PNA)

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