Tourist arrivals up in Bacolod

Tourist arrivals in Bacolod City last year has increased by 4%, according to Butch Gerasmo, Bacolod City Tourism Officer.

In her report to Mayor Evelio Leonardia, 2017 tourist arrivals has increased to 831, 687 compared to arrivals in 2016 which was 799,224 only. Top tourist visitors were from the United States of America (USA) both in 2016 with 9,184; and in 2017 - 11,465. Followed by Koreans with a record of 8,586 in 2016 and 8,978 last year. Japan ranks third having registered 5,178 in 2016 and 6,483 last year.

Bulk of tourist arrivals was recorded in April for 2016 having 78,781. and May in 2017 - 83,695.

Foreign tourist receipts in 2016 was P280,092,088.00, while the local tourists was P2,062,395,671.00, or a total of P2,090,487,759.00.

For 2017, the total tourist receipts was P2,438,781,490.00 broken down to P296,738,858.00 for foreign tourists, and P2,142,042,632.00 for local tourists.

These receipts were recorded from accommodations and foods.

Tourism has been the thrust of Mayor Leonardia having started his political career as tourism officer of Bacolod City in the early 80’s.

City Administrator Atty John N. Orola, Jr., who was once tourism attache to Japan has greatly contributed to the increase of tourist arrivals in Bacolod having bridged the international golf tournament with other Asian nationalities like Japanese and Koreans.

According to Gerasmo, the increase of foreign tourist arrivals in Bacolod has placed the city as second to Boracay Island last year, considering that Bacolod is the commercial hub of Negros Occidental.

She also said, the thrust now of the City is “meeting, incentives convention/conferences and exhibition (MICE).

“We have presently 3,056 rooms capacity from 70 accredited establishments, which can be doubled to 6,112 room-accommodations.

The tourists are assured of accredited accommodations in one resort, 5 hotels, 2 pension houses, 18 travel agencies, and a tourism recreation center which is the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club, Inc.*(EDITH B. COLMO)