By Jennifer P. Rendon and Glazyl Y. Masculino
Revenge travel is on.
If the number of outbound and outbound passengers in Western Visayas is any indication, tourists and returning residents made up for the lost time during the pandemic.
Coast Guard District-Western Visayas (CGD-WV) records indicated that the region saw 909,731 travelers in various seaports in the region from April 2 to 10.
Commander Jansen Benjamin, operations officer and public information officer of CHD-WV, said they only took into account passengers who boarded fast crafts or sea vessels from April 2 to 12 pm of April 10.
As of 6 p.m. on Monday, 482,896 outbound passengers were recorded, while inbound passengers totaled 426,835.
The initial total breached the 1-million mark as some passengers may have been counted multiple times, especially if they went to several beach destinations in the region.
“The number was based on the passengers leaving and arriving at port areas in Region 6. So, a good number of them were both counted as inbound and outbound travelers,” Benjamin said.
As expected, Coast Guard Station-Aklan logged the most number of both outbound (182,033) and inbound (172,400) passengers.
It was followed by Iloilo with 158,357 outbound passengers, and 124,638 inbound passengers, while Guimaras had 91,221 outbound passengers and 81,442 inbound passengers.
Northern Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, came fourth with 46,731 outbound passengers and 43,471 inbound passengers, followed by Antique with 2,732 outbound passengers and 2,996 inbound passengers, while Capiz registered 1,822 outbound passengers and 1,888 inbound passengers.
Benjamin said Aklan getting the big chunk of the travelers is no surprise at all since Boracay Island remains the region’s top tourist destination.
“We should also take into consideration that Caticlan is a gateway to Iloilo, Negros, and even parts of Mindanao,” he said.
Benjamin said the number of this year’s travelers to and from Western Visayas increased compared to the past three years.
“Travelers who haven’t taken a vacation in a long time and residents who haven’t gone back to their hometown have taken advantage of the long weekend,” he said.
But amid this hundreds of thousands of travelers and just a few hundred PCG personnel guarding pier areas, “we’re happy to note that there were no maritime incidents in the region from Holy Thursday until Easter Sunday.”
The only maritime that happened in Western Visayas was the allision that happened in Boracay Island on April 5 that killed an Ati tribe chieftain.