Domestic tourists still account for the highest guest arrivals in Negros Occidental and most of them are young travelers, Jennylind Cordero, provincial senior tourism operations officer, said yesterday.
Cordero recalled that the roll-on, roll-off port project of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was one of the reasons for the influx of domestic tourists in the country, particularly in Negros Occidental.
More tourists mean more income for local businesses and for Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, she said.
Bambi Borromeo, vice president of the Alliance of Tour Guides of Negros, also said local tourists mostly come to Negros for lakbay-aral programs of Local Government Units and some who come here for pleasure are from Manila.
“We also get special vacations and festivals like MassKara, BacoLaodiat, Christmas, but it is during summer that we get lots of tours,” Borromeo said.
He also said the province has foreign tourists but they are not as many as those who go to Cebu and Boracay.
“The bulk of the foreign tourists we get are “spillovers” and these are tourists who come from other places like Boracay that pass through Bacolod before moving to another destination,” Borromeo said.
ATON president Maricar Dabao, meanwhile, said they are also promoting organic farms as additional tourist destinations in Negros like the Peñalosa Farms in Victorias City, Fresh Start in Silay City, and May's Organic Garden, an integrated demo-farm.
They are not just attractions but more of a learning experience since LGUs from other provinces visit Negros organic farms to learn organic farming as the province is being pushed to be the Organic Bowl of the country, Dabao also said. *LTG