Massive promotions paid off as Iloilo City attracted the highest tourist arrivals in Western Visayas in 2018.
Iloilo City posted 1,242,087 total arrivals including 1,154,550 domestic visitors; 70,787 foreign guests, and 16,750 Overseas Filipinos last year.
Department of Tourism Region 6 recorded that Aklan came in second with 1,103,276 arrivals; followed by Negros Occidental with 920,242; Bacolod City with 835,453; Iloilo Province with 347,375; Capiz with 265,662; Guimaras with 133,525; and Antique with 108,220.
City Tourism Officer Junel Ann Divinagracia said the strong partnership of City Government with the private sector helped promote the metropolis especially during the Iloilo City Trade Mission in New York, Virginia and Washington D.C., United State of America (USA) May 31-June 11, 2018.
The city’s delegation also participated in the parade and showcased Dinagyang in the Independence Day Celebration in New York.
“During the trade mission, the Philippine Consulate along Madison Avenue was able to play tourism promotions video of the city. We have seen a significant increase in tourist arrivals from USA because of this promotion,” Divinagracia said.
She also joined the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) tour as national leader promoting Iloilo City to member nations.
They also partnered with several organizations such as Air Asia and Tourism Promotions Board in producing marketing and promotional materials.
Dinagyang’s participation in Aliwan Fiesta in Manila last April 2018 also promoted the city to the rest of the country.
“The City Tourism and Development Office intensified its campaign in tourism statistics data gathering and with the assistance from DOT, we have trained new staff to gather data from tourism establishments.
We have continually supported the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) industry which aided organizers in their preparation and handling the events,” Divinagracia said. (Merianne Grace Ereñeta/Iloilo City PIO)