LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The province of Benguet is getting a bigger share of tourist arrivals with already over a million in the three quarters of this year.
A total of 1.05 million tourist arrivals were recorded from January to September this year compared to the 543,066 tourist arrivals of the same period last year, based on the records of the Tourism and Cultural Affairs Division. The data was disaggregated into accommodation establishments, day visitors, campers and balikbayan.
For accommodation establishments for both local and foreign tourists, the increase was from 35,343 to 63,692 or 80.21 percent for local and from 1,578 to 3,036 or 92.40% for foreign.
For the day visitors, from 48,1761 to 949,925 or an increase of 97.17% for local and 24,384 to 26,952 or 10.53% for foreign tourists.
According to Tourism Operations Officer Francis Likigan, the increase in tourist arrivals for the first and second quarters was attributed to the flocking of tourists in particular destinations coupled with the aggressive recording of tourist arrivals in the designated tourist information centers administered by Municipal Tourism Action Officers.
Topping the list of visited areas among the locals is Sitio Pungayan in Mt. Kabuyao, Tuba, Benguet, known as “La Presa” in the popular teleserye “Forevermore”.
BenCab Museum in Asin, also in Tuba, ranks second in the most visited places in the province mostly by foreign visitors.
Still a favorite place to visit(3rd) mostly among local visitors is the Strawberry Farms in this capital town.
Other top tourist areas visited in Tuba are the mountain resorts in barangay Nangalisan such as River View Water Park (rank 8th), Pooten Asin Resort (11th) and Palm Grove (12th).
Tourist vistas frequented in Bokod both among locals and foreigners are the Ambuklao Dam ( 4th) , Bobok Pine Forest ( 5th), Spillway View Deck (6th), Indian View Deck (7th), Palansa Panoramic View (9th), Badekbek Hot Springs (10th), Adwagan River (15th), and Banao River (16th).
Also in the top list are Mt. Pulag (13th) in Kabayan and 1300 Level Swimming Pools in Itogon.
With the onset of the rainy season, a downtrend of arrivals was noted during the third quarter.
Governor Nestor Fongwan underscored tourism as one of the activities in the province that trigger economic activities. In boosting such, part of the provincial government’s program is the installation of various community police assistance centers in strategic areas for public safety and security and establishment of public toilets along national highways in partnership with concerned stakeholders./JDP|SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet