CamSur, Naga top tourist arrivals anew

By JOSE B. PEREZ, Editor
Bicol Mail

Once again, Camarines Sur and this city topped the regional distribution of incoming travelers for the year 2010, according to the latest data released by the regional office of the Department of Tourism based in Legazpi City.

By an overwhelming margin, Camarines Sur and Naga City posted a total of 2,330,116 domestic and foreign tourist arrivals for the period January to December 2010. This is 48.75 percent higher than previous year’s performance of 1,566,447.

On foreign travelers, Camarines Sur and Naga City churned out a total of 461,053 arrivals for 2010, a figure that is four times over than what Albay/Legazpi City produced during the same year which stood at 116,011. The regional total in foreign tourist arrivals for 2010 was posted at 681,134, which was 36.49 percent higher or 233,493 more than the previous year’s 447,641.

Camarines Sur/Naga’s combined tourist arrivals, as in previous three years, represent more than two-thirds of the Bicol regional total, which for this year was pegged at 3,122,156, the highest so far since tourism was given a serious look as a major industry in Bicol.

Albay and Legazpi City combined placed second in the ranking of tourist arrivals with a total of 299,363 for both domestic and foreign tourists, and a 27 percent growth rate over previous year’s 235,857.

On third place is the island province of Masbate with 160,584 tourist arrivals. Unfortunately, the figure is 7 percent lower than what the province registered in the previous year which was better at 172,242.

Camarines Norte placed fourth with a total of 138,151 tourist arrivals for 2010, a 15.56 percent improvement over its 2009 performance of 119,542 tourist arrivals. Fifth is Sorsogon which mustered a total of 101,799 tourist arrivals, a 21.00 percent growth over previous year’s 84,354.

The island province of Catanduanes, which is at the bottom of the regional ladder, suffered a 15 percent decrease in tourist arrivals in 2010, with only 92,143 tourist arrivals compared to previous year’s 108,923.

According to Tourism Regional Director Nini Ravanilla, the region’s banner tourist attractions, which she dubbed as Bicol’s tourism icons, remain to be Camarines Sur’s Watersports Complex and the Caramoan peninsula, Naga City’s Peñafrancia Festival, Albay’s Mayon Volcano, and Sorsogon’s Butanding interaction.

The comparative data for the regional distribution of travelers are based on figures submitted by accommodation establishments, such as hotels, inns, beach resorts, and other billeting facilities where their stay are accordingly recorded in the establishment’s logbook.