Tourism: Sustaining growth in top destinations for the first nine months of 2009

By Lynda B. Valencia

MANILA, Dec. 15 (PNA) -- Tourist arrivals to the country’s tourist destinations in the third quarter of 2009 grew by 17 percent to 5.2 million.

Cebu regained its lead as the most visited destination with 1.24 million visitors, posting a growth rate of 1.8 percent vis-à-vis the previous year volume of 1.21 million.


The opening of new tourism destinations, products, facilities and activities as well as increased in flight frequencies of major airlines from Manila and other islands in the Visayas and Mindanao to Cebu gave impetus for enhanced domestic travel movement.

Tourist influx to Camarines Sur remained robust as domestic visitors increased by 163 percent while foreign arrivals rose by 29 percent for an overall growth of 124.6 percent or 1.23 million tourists.

Major events such as the International Kite Boarding Competition, World Wakeboarding Competition, Ironman Run, and the International Dragon Boat Competition have greatly contributed not only towards increasing awareness but also growth in international travel to the destination.

Despite the lean season in the third quarter, tourist arrivals to Boracay Island rose by 5.3 percent with domestic visitors fast increasing by 10 percent for a total volume of 506,896.

Bohol registered a 21 percent growth in foreign arrivals and 10 percent increase in domestic visitors.

Tourist volume to this destination accounted for 4.3 percent of the total traffic to major destinations in the third quarter of 2009.

The North East Asian market accounted for the bulk of the total foreign tourists at 59 percent, with the Chinese and Taiwanese arrivals posting a share of 23 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

Arrivals to Puerto Princesa City rose by 18 percent with foreign tourist growing faster at 23 percent vis-à-vis domestic visitor volume which went up by 17 percent.

In the third quarter alone, influx of tourists to Puerto Princesa City posted a 34 percent growth, the highest registered among all destinations during the period under review.

Increase in the meetings, conferences and incentive travel market in the destination triggered the hefty growth in visitor volume.

During the first nine months, the volume of domestic tourist increased by 21 percent while foreign tourist grew by 2.7 percent. This performance positioned the industry for greater growth in the fourth quarter. (PNA)