TACLOBAN CITY- Eastern Visayas tourist arrivals have reached a record of more than 3 million generating an income for the region of P3.20 billion for 2014.
The record setting number of tourists who visited the region last year was higher compare in 2013, the year Eastern Visayas was pummeled by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
Based on the records from the regional office of the Department of Tourism, in 2014, there were 3,206,238 tourists who visited the region.
Of this number, 3,144,296 were locals and 58,460 were foreigners generating tourist receipts of P3.20 billion.
In 2012, about 2,448,000 tourists visited the region generating an income of P2.44 billion.
Based on the computation of the DOT, a single tourist is expected to spend at least P1, 000 during a day of stay.
Tourism regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes described as a “milestone” the more than 3 million tourists who visited Eastern Visayas.
She attributed the increase on their campaign to attract more tourists to the region and the full support they are generating from business sector, particularly those in tourism-related establishments and the local government units.
“(Tourism) is everybody’s business. So, I credit this milestone to everyone in the Eastern Visayas tourism industry,” Tiopes said.
She, however, said that the thousands of people who belong to various humanitarian groups, both local and foreign, which extended assistance for Yolanda survivors, also fueled the increase of number of tourist arrivals in the region.
“Everyone is counted for as long as they stay overnight or they visit an attraction. To be considered as tourist, purpose of the visit includes to do business (is counted),” Tiopes said.
In an earlier interview, Tiopes said that Eastern Visayas could capitalize on Yolanda, world’s strongest typhoon to make landfall, to help attract more tourists and eventually the region’s economy. She said that with the world now aware where Eastern Visayas is, they could now include it as part of their possible tour visits.
Among the tourist draws that are often visited by the tourists include the Santo Nino Shrine in Tacloban which was built by former first lady Imelda Marcos as her “summer house” in 1981; Kalanggaman Island, a white beach in Palompon in Leyte; Lake Danao Park in Ormoc City; Maasin City Zoo in Maasin City; Sohoton Cave in Basey in Samar and the Rock Formations in Biri, Northern Samar, among others.