(File photo)

Domestic and foreign tourist arrivals in Puerto Princesa City reached 368,408 in the first half of 2019, records of the City Tourism Department (CTD) show.

Data exclusively obtained by Palawan News from the CTD on Tuesday showed that during the first six months of the year, the month of February had the highest number of domestic and foreign tourist arrivals with a total of 89,541 and June the lowest with only 10,376 tourists.

During the same period last year, the city was visited by 662,578 tourists.

The data also showed that of the total number of tourist arrivals, domestic tourists account for 206,269 compared to foreigners who were only 162,139.

City tourism officer Cynthia Amurao said, however, that this data does not include yet Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who visited.

In 2018, OFW arrivals accounted for 822 of the total number of tourists during the same period.

“We expect the numbers to increase once we get data on the arrivals of OFWs,” Amurao said.

Last year, domestic tourism reached as high as 88,714 in May to as low as 58,104 in February, the data showed.

Compared to 2019 where arrivals of local tourists peaked in January with 48,924 while in February where the foreign tourists had the highest arrivals with 44,153, records showed.

She attributed the decrease in domestic tourist arrivals to the government policy of discouraging field trips for government workers.

The Department of Education (DepEd) also imposed stricter rules on students going on educational trips, Amurao said.

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