14% growth in Albay tourist arrivals expected by yearend

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Oct. 7 (PNA) — Tourist arrivals in Albay are expected to grow by 14 percent by yearend despite challenges such as the recent kidnapping case in Zamboanga, Albay governor Joey Salceda said.

Salceda told reporters in an interview that Albay acquired a total of 953, 000 tourists (about 600, 000 domestic and 300, 000 foreign) who went to Albay in 2014.

“We lost a large number of tourists from the kidnapping case in Zamboanga but hopefully we can recover by December,” Salceda said.

He added that the province lost about 30, 000 potential tourists because of the incident.

Salceda meanwhile said that he expects 450 delegates at the New Tourism Frontiers Forum 2015 of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), biggest travel organization in the world, which will be held in Legazpi, Albay from Nov. 25 to 27.

“We will have 450 delegates—250 are foreign (mostly travel operators) while 200 are delegates from DOT (Department of Tourism) regions,” the governor said.

Salceda, who has a reputation for his commitment to Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation is set to discuss how ecotourism will transcend with climate change during the forum.

He also said that he expects a surge in tourist arrivals with the completion of the Php 4.7-million Bicol International Airport. <>Albay is currently working on bringing in more tourist arrivals from its Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Bangkok market, he added. (PNA)