ILOILO CITY – Despite challenges from the pandemic, more than a million tourists visited Western Visayas in the first half of this year.
Data released by the Department of Tourism-Region 6 (Western Visayas) showed more than one million arrivals, a significant rebound for the tourism industry that has been negatively affected since the pandemic began in March 2020.
The number of tourist arrivals almost matched the entire 1.16 million tourist arrivals in 2021.
The more than a million tourists pumped up the combined economy of the region composed of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental as well as the highly urbanized cities of Iloilo and Bacolod.
Western Visayas earned an estimated P16.6 billion from tourism from January to June 2022.
The number of tourists may be even higher as the provincial tourism office of Negros Occidental has yet to submit data to DOT-Region 6.
Aklan had the highest number of tourists with 962,289, largely due to being the home province of world-famous Boracay Island, which is expecting more tourists after Time magazine named it as one the world’s greatest places for 2022.