Central Luzon Philippines reported that while the world is experiencing the hardest-hitting financial crisis in so many decades, this part of the country known as the central plains of Luzon, is enjoying a surprising comeback in terms of volume of local and foreign visitors, that put into the region's coffers some P10 billion in total earnings.
Department of Tourism (DoT) Regional Director Ronaldo Tiotuico said that based on the survey results gathered from a selection of accredited hotels and other accommodation establishments in the region, Central Luzon Philippines posted the highest volume of visitor arrivals in history equivalent to a more than 24 percent growth rate in room occupancy for the entire 2008.
The region posted some 530,802 visitors during the period January to December of 2008 compared to only 427,364 during the same period in 2007.
Of the total volume of arrivals, tourists from the US ranked no. 1 with some 36,326 arriving in the region while Japanese tourists ranked no. 2 with some 11,891 arrivals, overtaking the South Koreans with 8,778 arrivals last year.
Translated into dollars and cents receipts, the arrival figures for 2008 amounted to more than US $200 million in gross revenues for tourist expenditures made on accommodation, food and shopping.
It is estimated that tourists each spend some US $99 per day of stay in the region on the average.
Thus, the region posted a high P10 billion in total revenues which gave a vast economic head-start for tourist-catering establishments like hotels, resorts and restaurants.
More hotels were established during the year while thousands of jobs were created as a result thereof.
Based on an informal survey made of visitors arriving in Luzon Philippines, most travelers choose to stay in and around the region because of value for money, considering the low fares offered by international airlines through Clark like Air Asia and Tiger Airways including Cebu Pacific.
The book-and-busy scheme offered to foreign tourists gave them ample reason to travel for a much cheaper price for the same quality of service and amenities.
Hotels and tourist inns around the Clark Freeport Zone offer cheap price on rooms but quality service.
The much improved road network from Manila to the North Luzon Philippines area has also contributed much to the significant growth of tourism in the region.
Seamless travel between the North Luzon Expressway and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway en route to Tarlac or Subic give value for money in times of economic slowdown.