A total of 3.4 million tourists arrived in Central Visayas from January-November in 2014, the latest available data released by the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 said
The DOT 7 said the tourist arrival was 6.86 percent higher compared to the 3.2 million tourists logged during the same period in 2013.
Local tourist arrivals grew by 4.96 percent and reached 2,051,820 while foreign tourist arrivals went up by 9.57 percent when the record reached 1,360,114.
Cebu recorded 2,517,487 arrivals, up by 5.85 percent.
Cebu welcomed 1,366,838 local tourists, an increase of 4.58 percent from figures in the same period in 2013.
Foreign arrivals, on the other hand, stood at 1,142,012 or an increase of 7.17 percent.
South Korea maintained its position as the region’s largest tourism source, providing 531,907 arrivals. This market grew by 6.58 percent versus its year-ago arrivals of 499,078.
Arrivals from Japan grew the second fastest, at 15.47 percent or 217,008, while arrivals from USA grew by 13.79 percent or 121,151 persons.
The China market, on the other hand, grew by 10.65 percent or 59,893 additional arrivals.
Completing the top five as sources of visitors to the region is Australia, from where 44,920 arrivals hailed. This market expanded by 15.95 percent from 38,740 in 2013.
Other high-yielding markets include the United Kingdom with 32,344 arrivals or a 40.79 percent growth, Germany with 26,660 or an 8.42 percent growth and France with 20,205 arrivals or an increase of 2.37 percent.
Arrivals from Canada, meanwhile, dropped by 15.50 percent from 24,571 in 2013 to 20,767 last year.
The DOT 7 remains optimistic as the agency draws closer to hitting the goal of 3.6 million tourist arrivals for the region in 2014.
Earlier, DOT 7 Director Rowena Montecillo said the goal was achievable because Cebu’s twin tourism destination, Bohol, has already picked up since August of last year.
Montecillo said the tourism sectors of the two other provinces, Negros Oriental and Siquijor, are also doing well.
The DOT 7’s tourism target for 2015 is pegged at 4.4 million. (PNA) FPV/EB/