Domestic tourism is the bread and butter of Philippines tourism industry as domestic travellers are ten times higher than foreign travellers to the country. According to Department of Tourism Assistant Secretary and Spokesman Ricky Alegre more than one half of the country’s population or 60 million Filipinos visit local tourist destinations in the country every year. The information was exchanged with journalists from the PhilStar. Alegre explained that the bulk of Philippines main attractions are residents of major cities who would go for their favourite spots during summer time and long holidays.
“Favourite destinations of tourists from Metro Manila and neighbouring areas include beaches in Pagudpud windmills and San Dunes in Paoay in Ilocos Norte; Vigan in Ilocos Sur; Baguio, Sagada in Mountain Province; Subic, Zambales; Clark, Mount Pinatubo; the beaches in Batangas; Tagaytay City,” he said.
Alegre said Pangasinan, La Union, Palawan, Boracay would also register a high number of local tourist arrivals every year. The information was collected by the DOT from bookings in hotels and resorts submitted to the department yearly.
Alegre expects a surge this year to some 70 million domestic travellers as new major expressways are opening to the public. The North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) will help tourists reaching quicker their destination by land. “From Manila you can now reach Baguio in three to four hours,” he said to the newspaper.
“The opening of new airport in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya and other parts of the country will also help boosting arrivals”, he added. The airport in Bagabag opened last month and tours have been designed to bring tourists to the famous Banaue Rice Terraces of Ifugao and the pictorial city of Sagada.
Alegre also said most local tourists schedule their travel in advance, availing themselves of various promotion offered by airlines or hotels. They would rent or use their own vehicles.
(Source: the PhilStar)