BAGUIO CITY — Tourist arrivals in the city increased by 12.81 percent in January to September this year.
Acting City Tourism Officer Jose Maria Rivera said a total of 1,013,704 tourists visited the city for the first nine months of the year, higher by 115,100 as compared to the same period last year.
Rivera said the data is based on the information provided by the different hotels, resorts, apartelles, pension houses, tourism inns and other licensed and unaccredited establishments in the city. It does not include data from alternative establishments like home stay facilities or transient homes, serviced apartments, dormitories and private homes.
The biggest increase was posted in the months of January and February which has 33.25 percent and 23.59 percent increase, respectively.
April and May remained to be the peak months for tourists with 143,966 and 133,343 arrivals, respectively followed closely by January with 132,293 and February with 129,233.
Majority of the tourists are locals (977,499) and the rest are foreigners and overseas Filipino workers.
Among the foreigners, Americans were the top patrons followed by Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, Singaporeans, Canadians and Australians with a number coming from Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates.
The city hosted a total of 1,977 conferences, 1,725 of which are regional in scope with a total of 746,129 participants.
Andrew Pinero, spokesperson of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB), in a phone interview on Saturday said the city has become a weekend destination especially after the completion of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Espressway (TPLEX) attached to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac expressway (SCTEX) that shortened travel time to Baguio to only 3.5 to 4 hours when using a private vehicle.
Pinero had earlier said “we all feel it more especially during long weekends as evidenced by the traffic congestion on our roads.” (PNA-northboundasia.com