While the closure of Boracay may have recently driven a significant chunk of tourist traffic to Palawan, local industry players and officials believe Palawan’s tourism growth is now primarily being driven by its own growing popularity.
Tourism players observed that Palawan’s domestic tourism has been consistent and not simply boosted with a single spike from Boracay’s closure.
Maricel Buñi, Provincial Tourism officer, said during the ongoing Tourism, Travel & Trade Expo 2018 the growth was seen in the consistent incremental growth rate of tourism arrivals.
“Nasurpass natin ang incremental rate natin nakaraan. We have additional flights, additional facilities, accommodation facilities all over. Ang ating mga local government unit and partner agencies, accommodation facilities na patuloy na nakikiisa doon sa collection and submission ng statistics,” she said.
Buñi made the observation during the third annual Palawan World’s Best Island Tourism, Travel & Tour Expo held Friday at Robinson’s Place and participated by some 26 exhibitors.
Deborah Q. Tan, President of Palawan Tourism Council which spearheaded the expo, said many important factors are in play that contributes to tourism’s growth.
“Mas meaningful ngayon kasi bukas na ang ating international airport. This year talagang mas masigasig pa kami magbenta ngayon ng ating tourism destination.”
“Isa sa strength natin ay ang domestic tourism but we do not put aside ang strength ng foreign market but basically ang strength natin ay ang domestic and local iyon ang gusto nating mas palakasin,” Buñi added.
Buñi added there has been an increase on consciousness of people to their products, as seen during the recently concluded Baragatan exhibits.
Tan emphasized the effect of Palawan’s international recognition on the present image of the local tourism.
“We have to keep up the image as the tourism destination even without the Boracay issue, lumalakas na rin talaga ang Palawan.”