Tourist arrivals in Iloilo province increased by 29.36% last year compared to the year 2014. Data from the Iloilo Provincial Tourism Office show that tourist arrivals in 2015 reached 206,204 higher than the 2014 data of 159,398.
The tourists are composed of 203,108 domestic visitors and 3,096 foreign visitors. Provincial Tourism Officer Gilbert Marin said this gave the province a corresponding tourist receipts amounting to P3.7 billion.
The municipality of Carles recorded the most number of tourist arrivals with 36,229. Carles, which is 147.6 kms. from Iloilo City, boasts of its beautiful island beaches. It is also where the once famous Sicogon Island is located. The island is currently being developed by Ayala Land which aims to revive it as a premier tourist destination in the province.
The town of Concepcion is next with 29,178 tourist arrivals. Just like Carles, Concepcion is blessed with many beautiful island beaches. Third on the list is the municipality of San Joaquin which registered tourist arrivals of 19,978. San Joaquin boasts of its heritage church and cemetery and fine beaches. An agri-tourism destination is also very popular in the said town. The municipality of Guimbal is number four with tourist arrivals reaching 19,142. Guimbal also boasts of beautiful beach resorts and other historical attractions. Fifth on the list is the municipality of Janiuay with tourist arrivals of 11,632.
The other five municipalities with high tourist arrivals are: Banate with 6,489, Pototan with 6,606, Tigbauan with 6,252, Oton with 5,654 and New Lucena with 5,437.