Visitors to the country’s key tourist destinations rose 5.37% to 3.65 million in the five months to May from the same period in 2009, as per Department of Tourism report. Foreign tourists increased 12.81%, while domestic tourists grew by a slower 2.12%.
The East Asian market, composed of China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, is the major source of tourists, accounting for 41.78% of total visitors.
The industry’s performance in the first five months of years 2009 and 2010, respectively, is shown below:
Eco-Tourism in Region 02
Region 02 possesses a wealth of ecological and cultural attractions including pristine white sandy beaches, extensive caves, diverse marine life, forests and wetlands and heritage sites. These natural resources support a range of potential Eco-tourism products and facilities to include national parks, beach resorts, scuba diving, mountaineering, trekking and festivals.
Out of the so many identified eco-tourism sites in the Philippines, there are thirty two (32) notable sites and destinations which are really being visited by both local and foreign tourists. Out of these main destinations, two (2) are located in Region 02.
These are the Batanes Group of Islands and the Penablanca Protected Landscape where the famous Callao Caves are located.
Batanes Group of Islands
Located at the northern most part of the country, Batanes Islands is a fabled land of stunning landscapes. It is a rugged, rocky home to the friendly Ivatans lying some 180 kilometers north of the Luzon mainland.
Activities offered by this site are:
b. Wildlife Watching
c. Scuba Diving/Snorkeling
f. Island Hopping
Peñablanca Protected Landscape
Located in the municipality of Penablanca, Cagayan, the Penablanca Protected Landscape is known for its countless caves and lush, fertile land. It is verdant junction to some of the region's greatest landscape - the Cordillera and Sierra Madre Mountains lie on its western and eastern borders, providing for some perfect setting for some truly intense eco-adventures.
This site offers a variety of activities that eco-tourists can venture into, like:
b. Wildlife Watching
d. Kayaking / Rafting
Other identified and potential eco-tourism destinations are located in various sites in the region like, the watershed areas of the provinces of Cagayan, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya where white river rafting, mountaineering and trekking are also the potential attractions. Also notable is the potential of the Sierra Madre Protected Landscape for eco-tourism activities.
The Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Free Port in Sta. Ana, Cagayan integrates Eco-Tourism Development as one among the components of its development plan.
The Cagayan Valley Investment Promotion Plan 2010-2012 specifically features the following top investment priority areas on eco-tourism:
♦ Magat Dam Complex and Waterworld Resort
♦ Butterfly Gardens
♦ Punta Amelita Resort
♦ Sta. Victoria Caves
♦ Crocodile Farm
♦ Agro-ecological destinations
♦ Dancing Dolphins and Eagle Sighting
♦ Honeymoon Island / Flying Fox
♦ Bird Watching
♦ Belfry Tower-Saint Mathias Church
♦ Miraculous Guibang Shrine
♦ Captivity Memorial Shrine of Gen. Aguinaldo
♦ Eco-Tourism Destination Development
♦ Tourism Estates Development
♦ Tourist accommodation and facilities
♦ Tourist transport facilities
♦ Convention/Training Centers
♦ Historico-Cultural Heritage Sites Development
♦ Recreation Amenities
♦ Travel/Tour Agency
♦ Pasalubong Centers/Souvenir Shop
♦ Sports and Amusement Center
a. Many potential Eco-tourist sites scattered all over the region
a. Presence of trainable manpower
b. Presence of schools offering tourism-related courses
c. Highly literate manpower
a. The presence of hotels, accommodation facilities and restaurants and other food service establishments that cater to tourists.
b. Transportation facilities are readily available to and from the identified sites and destinations.
c. Communication networks are readily available.
a. Availability of training programs and institutions offering:
♦ Tour Guiding
♦ Good Customer Relations
♦ Food Processing
Enabling Laws and Government Support Programs: