Tourists Bring P2B To Cagayan Valley

The Department of Tourism said more than P2 billion was earned by the Cagayan Valley from the growing foreign and domestic tourist arrivals in the region in the last five years.

DOT Region 2 Director Virgilio Maguigad said that from 2010 to 2015, the number of foreign and domestic tourists grew from 358,000 to 795,000.

Maguigad said 748,861 tourists spent P1.7 billion in 2014 and 795,502 spent P1.8 billion in 2015.

He said 195,995 Chinese, 2,809 Taiwanese and 1,985 Americans visited the Philippines in 2015.

Also on the top 10 list were tourists from Canada, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, India, Singapore and Australia who enjoyed the casinos, resorts, beaches and other tourists offerings at the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority in Santa Ana town.

The ecozone offers facilities for backpacking, swimming, kiteboarding, wind surfing and beach volleyball. Scenes in the movie "Survivor" were filmed in some beaches there

It also hosts water sports like jet skiing, snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, kayaking, game fishing particularly in Santa Ana's Palaui Island, Anguib, Gotan, Nangaramoan and Pozzorobo.

Maguigad said that in the first semester, 352,387 foreign and domestic tourist came while more than 1.4 million same-day visitors (tourists who stayed less than a day) arrived.

He said the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) for 2016 to 2022 will develop the Batanes-Babuyan Islands-Cagayan Coast cluster, the Tuguegarao-Tabuk (Sierra Madre) cluster, Ilagan-Isabela (Coast), Quirino (Sierra Madre cluster) and Nueva Vizcaya (Cordillera cluster).

"We will increase competitiveness and ease of doing business, accelerate annual infrastructure spending to account for five percent of the gross domestic product with public-private partnership playing a key role," Maguigad said.

"We will work on the promotion of rural and value chain development towards increasing agricultural

With the tourism potentials of the Cagayan Valley region, the DoT said foreign and local investors' intervention plays an important role and still very much needed.

"This is so because the Cagayan Valley region is still lagging behind compared to other regions in terms of tourism arrivals and its impact to the economy," Maguigad said.

He said that since the region needs to develop and improve its tourism potentials, "we are not yet included as one of the primary tourist destinations in the country."

"There are many tourism potentials in Cagayan Valley that need the help of private investors in order to develop them fully," Maguigad said.

Meanwhile, the government has poured in more than P2 billion under the DoT-Department of Public Works and Highways convergence program for the development of access roads to the region's tourism attractions and destinations.

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