DUMAGUETE CITY,Feb.4 (PIO) — The number of tourists who have visited Dumaguete in the whole year of 2013 has remarkably grown to 83.9% amounted to 393,718 tourists from 214,052 with respect to the year 2012, according to official statistics.

The overall number of foreign citizens who visited Dumaguete has also grown, with 80.8% – 47,919 guests compared to last year’s  26,504, reports from City Tourism Officer (CTO) Woodrow Maquiling Jr.

As monthly foreign arrival levels have been growing compared to the comparative months of 2012, Maquiling said he is highly optimistic this trend would be sustained in the coming year.

“We observed that every year we have increase in number of tourists. This is a good indicator to our economy as well as the livelihood of the people because if there are tourists there are more jobs and it means money for the locals” the CTO said.

Furthermore, the month of March experienced the highest number of Foreign Arrivals with 5,612 foreign tourists. Opposite to the month of October with only 1,837 foreign tourists.

Report shows that the highest number of foreign visitors is from United States followed by Germany, Australia, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Korea, France, China, and Switzerland.

On local tourists or Philippine residents, it reached 89.7% increase totaling to 344,810 versus of last year to only 181,781. The month of April has the most number of local tourists with 41,246 and October to have the least local visitors of 25,444.

As to why have tourism exploded Maquiling explained aside from the efforts of the Local Government Unit in the City, Dumaguete being the gateway and tourism service center of Negros Oriental and Siquijor  is “loaded with attractions travelers dream o:f lots of sun, gorgeous beaches, world-class scenery, adventure opportunities, friendly outgoing locals, fascinating history and lots of little-roamed territory; good marketing strategy; and solid tourism programs.”

However, according to Maquiling, tourism development should be treated as a challenge to continue to strive for a better tourism industry under the leadership of Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria.

The COT said there are still a lot of opportunities that await the City in terms of tapping new markets. His optimism for a better 2014 is anchored on the government’s continuing thrust to put in more budget for the improvement of tourism industry.

“There are still so many things that need to be carried out and all Dumaguetenous should be one in continuing to pursue efforts in promoting our tourism industry, 2014 is for us to increase and secure this momentum.” Maquiling added. (with report By Emaleen Franz Maputi)