Tourist arrivals rose by 14 %, says Durano
Inquirer News Service
NAGA CITY, Camarines Sur -- Despite the political turmoil hounding the country, the number of foreign tourists increased by 14 percent from January to July, according to Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano.
Durano, who was here to open the weeklong Bicol version of "Wow Philippines" fiesta, ascertained that the political turmoil had not affected the tourism industry of the Philippines.
Without citing exact figures, he claimed that tourists from Japan, China and Korea knew that the rallies and other political squabbles affected only Metro Manila.
Southern Tagalog and Bicol were among the regions that benefited from the increasing influx of foreign tourists, he said.
Bicol was also becoming a major tourist destination with Lake Buhi and the islets of Caramoan, aside from the majestic Mayon Volcano, gaining popularity.
In a simple ceremony held at Plaza Rizal here, he declared the geothermal field occupied by the Bac-Man geothermal production as an eco-tourism site.
Among several areas recognized by the eco-tourism certification of Bac-Man are the Botong Twin Falls, Bat Sanctuary, Inang Maharang Mud Pool and Nag-aso Lake.
The 150-megawatt geothermal production field located in the boundary of Bacon, Sorsogon and Manito, Albay started its operation in 1993.
The location of the geothermal field in the mountains also provides a vantage view of Mayon Volcano, Albay Gulf, Bulusan Volcano and Sorsogon Bay.