2-M tourists visit Cordillera in 2017
BAGUIO CITY – Close to two million tourists, mostly Filipinos, visited Cordillera in 2017, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in the region said Monday.
PSA-Cordillera Regional Director Villafe Alibuyog said 1.86 million of the total 1.97 million tourists were from other parts of the Philippines.
The remaining 110,000 are foreign visitors, mostly Americans, French, Koreans, Chinese, and Germans.
Baguio City or the City of Pines, which is the Philippines’ Summer Capital, accounted for the majority of the tourist arrivals or 77 percent of the total.
Mountain Province, trailed far second, with an 8.5 percent share, followed by Kalinga — 6 percent, Benguet — 4 percent, Ifugao — 3 .6 percent, and Abra — 0.02 percent.
There was no available data on tourist arrivals in Apayao, but PSA records show that the province has a 2.8-percent occupancy rate.
Only counted as tourists are those who avail of accommodation services duly registered with the government.
The region recorded a 40.9 percent average occupancy rate in accommodation establishments, with up to 3 persons as guests per room.
Alibuyog, during the kick off of the month-long celebration of the 29th National Statistics Month on Monday, cited the importance of statistics in crafting policies and programs for a sustainable economic development.
“Since the (tourism) industry contributes to the economy, there is need to obtain reliable statistics on tourism in order to come up with feasible and appropriate programs and policies that will further lead to its sustainable development,” she said.
“These statistics will help policymakers address challenges in the sector,” she added, citing the figures help a lot in improving facilities and infrastructure in particular areas.
Alibuyog said on the national scale, tourism contributed 12.2 percent to the Philippines’ economic gains last year> She added that industry generated 5.3 million jobs nationwide.
A large number of them were in the passenger and transport sectors with 37.9 percent.
Accommodation, food, and beverage comprised 33 percent; other tourism industry, 15.7 percent; retail trade on tourism, 6.6 percent; recreation, entertainment, and cultural services, 6.2 percent; and travel agents, tour operations, and tourist guides, 0.7 percent.
This year’s theme for the National Statistics Month is “Exploring Philippine numbers in wonders: statistics towards sustainable development.”
Alibuyog said the celebration highlights the contribution of the tourism sector in economic growth and nation-building.
“All government offices, public institutions, and the private sector are invited to conduct activities, which are geared toward promoting, enhancing, and instilling nationwide awareness and appreciation of the importance and value of statistics to the different sectors of society,” she said at the opening rites of the celebration at the Baguio City Hall grounds. **PNA