Saturday, September 17, 2011
Tourist arrivals in Aurora heats up
BALER, Aurora, September 18, 2011-Tourist arrivals in this province continue to heat up as provincial tourism office (PTO) records showed that tourist arrivals in the first semester of this year already surpassed the whole year tourist arrivals last year.
Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo said that tourism industry continues to boom in this province explaining that the number of tourists for the first six (6) months of 2011 already reached 73,689, way above the 68,395 tourists registered in 2010.
Angara-Castillo said that the growth of the local industry is remarkable and the tourism figures are considered phenomenal since the province does not have yet the requisite hotel and infrastructure facilities which are natural come-ons for tourists.
Over the last five years, Michael Palispis, provincial tourism officer chief said that the tourism gains of the province will further improve the 300 percent tourist arrivals in the province.
Visitor arrivals in the province reached a record-high of 68,395 last year from a measly 8,774 last 2005 based on the PTO records, stating that the province lured 11,534 tourists in 2006; 10,778 in 2007; 27,935 in 2008 and 52,316 in 2009. In recognition of the feat, the Department of Tourism (DOT) adjudged Palispis as provincial tourism officer for 2010.
“The tremendous arrivals of visitors recorded in the province were even a conservative estimate since this did not include those who checked in “home-stay” facilities, adding that the two of the major hotel facilities in this capital town are always fully booked because of the on-rush of in-bound visitors,” Palispis said.
Angara-Castillo said that the provincial government is aggressively promoting tourism with the crafting of an Aurora Forest Recreation and Rest Area, Park Development (AFRRAPD), a provincial tourism blueprint which it submitted to the Department of Tourism for inclusion in the National Tourism Master Plan.
Included in the AFRRAPD are the construction of a hotel, conference hall and recreational facilities for water sports activities such as wakeboarding, jet skiing, kayaking, rappelling, and mountain trail.
Angara-Castillo said that the tourism blueprint is one of her development priority agenda where they also launched its own “Balik-Aurora” campaign where “balikbayan” tourists are fetched at the airport and brought to various destinations in the province in line with the declaration of the years 2011 to 2016 as the country’s “Homecoming Years for Pinoys” in accordance to Aquino’s proclamation 181 to boost tourism by attracting “balikbayans”. (Jason de Asis)
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