CEBU CITY — Tourist arrivals in Central Visayas grew by 10.26 percent in the first three months of 2015 compared to the same period last year, the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 said.
Some 1.2 million local and overseas tourists visited the region in the first quarter (Q1) of the year, up from 971,824 in the same period last year.
Central Visayas, which comprises of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor, registered a total of 557,421 domestic arrivals this year, down 5.28 percent from 588,480 in 2014.
But foreign visitors increased 34 percent to 514,135 in Q1 this year from 380,991 last year.
Cebu ranked first in the region in volume of both local and foreign tourists, followed by Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.
Korea, Japan and USA were the region’s top three tourist markets.
Korean visitors in the January to March 2015 period grew 45.04 percent to 185,967 from 128,220 last year.
Koreans comprised 43 percent of the region’s overall tourist market.
In 2014, total tourist arrivals in the region went up by 16 percent to 4.03 million from 3.5 million in 2013.
The DOT 7 hit its 3.6 million 2014 target and is now bent on reaching 4.4 million visitors this year.