ILOILO CITY, May 12 (PNA)– Malaysians are not the only growing visitors of Western Visayas, according to the latest arrivals report of the Department of Tourism Region 6 (DOT-6).
Records on the Arrival/Departure (AD) cards from the Bureau of Immigration, Iloilo, show that residents from Northern Europe, Central Europe, Western Europe, Central America and South America, South Africa and even from the Sub-region of Oceania in the Pacific Ocean make Western Visayas their gateway to the Philippines.
Among the passengers with substantial numbers carried by Cebu Pacific from Hong Kong and Singapore direct flights are Swiss, Kazakhs, Belgian, Polish, Slovakian, Estonian, Finnish, Romanian, Czech, Icelandic, Luxembourger, Palauan, Lithuanian, Belarusian and Ecuadorian. Other nationalities represented are Mauritian, Fijian, Salvadoran, Peruvian and Zimbabwean.
The DOT-6 Regional Director Atty. Helen J. Catalbas said that more foreign tourists are making this region their port of entry because of its growing connectivity and attractive tourism destinations.
“These nationalities made Western Visayas their port of entry to the Philippines because of its expanding connectivity with other destinations in the country. Iloilo is an hour away from Cebu and Davao via air and an hour away from Bacolod via fast craft. Kalibo, Roxas City and Bacolod have flights to Manila and Cebu except for Roxas City, which has flights to and from Manila only,” said Director Catalbas.
She added that some of these visitors stay in the region as tourists and go to the different tourist destinations in the region.
Director Catalbas said as Western Visayas welcomes various tourists every year, it is a must to constantly upgrade the services and amenities the region has.
“The goal of our campaign ‘Experience Western Visayas First’ is to attract tourists to go to this region and experience what it has to offer. Western Visayas has an open market, catering different visitors from across the globe; hence, its development is always anchored to the needs of our visitors and the discriminating taste of Western Visayan residents,” Director Catalbas said. (PNA)