Koreans top arrivals in Central Visayas in 2007
By Minerva BC Newman
Cebu, Philippines (11 February) -- Koreans top arrivals and departures at the Mactan Cebu International Airport in 2007 with 277,454 arrivals and 273,040 departures, that made them the top foreign visitors in Central Visayas.
According to the Bureau of Immigration, Japanese that used to be the top foreign visitor in Cebu are now 3rd on the list with 103,467 recorded arrivals while "our overseas Filipino workers, especially those coming from the Middle East countries ranked 2nd in the arrivals at 185,154," BI-7 director Geronimo Rosas said.
The other foreign tourists arrivals include the Americans at 42,555; Taiwanese at 30,975; Hongkong with 21,847 and British nationals placed at the 7th with 19,605 arrivals.
These foreign arrivals in Cebu had earned the BI-7 some P226.5-million in tax collection in 2007, P16.5-million higher than that of 2006, Rosas claimed.
In a recent media interview with Tourism secretary Joseph "Ace" Durano, he said that the country has hit the three million mark in tourists' arrivals and departures last year with Manila and Cebu as major entry and exit points.
Durano also told the media that the government's goal is to spread the economic benefits of tourism in all parts of the country but access to other provinces is a big problem.
"Our challenge is, we have to open airports or improve existing airports in various provinces to encourage more tourists to go to other areas in the country," Durano said. (PIA-Cebu) [top]