Western Visayas tourism revenue hit P70B in 2023

Aklan, home to the famous Boracay Island, recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals in Western Visayas in 2023 with 2.2 million.

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor and Mariela Angella Oladive

The tourism industry in Western Visayas generated a total of P70 billion in revenue in 2023, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced on Tuesday, July 9.

The region welcomed approximately 5.4 million tourists, according to DOT-6 Assistant Regional Director Phoebe Zelie C. Areño, who spoke at a press conference.

Areño reported that foreign tourists contributed PHP 11.4 billion to the tourism revenue, with a total of 550,357 visitors.

Korea was the leading source of foreign tourists, accounting for 199,114 of the arrivals.

Other top foreign tourist markets for Western Visayas in 2023 included the USA with 66,513 arrivals, China with 46,565, Australia with 22,499, and Taiwan with 21,643.

Areño emphasized that the region’s tourist arrivals last year showed a 22.88 percent increase compared to the 4.2 million tourist arrivals in 2022.

Aklan, home to the famous Boracay Island, recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals with 2.2 million.

Following Aklan, Iloilo City attracted 886,283 visitors, while Bacolod City saw 780,916 arrivals. Negros Occidental welcomed 694,015 tourists, Iloilo Province had 318,535, Capiz received 196,844 visitors, Antique had 149,509, and Guimaras saw 133,818 arrivals.

Areño mentioned that they are yet to determine if Iloilo City has seen a significant increase in arrivals following its recognition as a “Creative City of Gastronomy” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network in November last year.

“For this year, we have so far 1.3 million tourist arrivals since we only have a partial figure. Iloilo City and Negros Occidental are yet to submit their data,” she explained.

As of July 7, 2024, Western Visayas has welcomed a total of 1.3 million tourists, generating an estimated P23.96 billion in revenue.

Aklan continues to be the top destination within the region, attracting 1,122,408 tourists and contributing a staggering PHP 22.64 billion in tourism receipts.

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