City tourism officer Demetrio Alvior delivering his message during the relaunching of Community Based Sustainable Tourism. PN Photo

Two years after the COVID-19 pandemic and the onslaught of typhoon Odette in December last year, the tourism industry is slowly getting back on its feet with a steady increase in tourist arrivals.

City tourism officer Demetrio Alvior Jr. said the rising number of visitors is a good sign that tourism is indeed back.

“Yung pandemic, two years wala tayong income, tinamaan pa tayo ng Odette. But this week and next week, sobrang busy ang Puerto Princesa, which is a happy problem kasi angdaming grupo ngayon na dumating at darating pa ngayong month,” Alvior said.

“Yung Baragatan, although that is event ng province, ang direct na nagbe-benefit is Puerto Princesa kasi dito yung event, dito pupunta yung mga bisita, kaya full support din tayo sa acitivity,” he added.

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He also stated that while it will still take time for the industry to fully recover, the present situation is a good sign.

“Ang turista kasi, tuloy-tuloy na yan sila. Long shot kasi yan, hindi yan overnight na pag launch mo, darating kaagad. Kahit na hindi pa tayo nag-relaunch, may pumupunta na rin. Ang tourist natin ngayon, tumataas na talaga ang monthly arrivals. Nag-a-average na tayo ng 10,000-12,000 a month, pero this June, malaki kasi isang grupo lang agad – itong youth convergence almost 3,000 yan and then more than 10 groups din yung nag-lakbay aral,” he explained.

“Although malayo pa tayo compared to pre-pandemic kasi noong 2019 nasa 1.2 million tourists tayo. Ngayong May nasa 60,000 pa lang tayo, wala pa sa isang buwan sa peak year natin noon na around 100,000 per month. Pero isang sign yan na talagang unti-unti na tayo kasi hindi lang naman tayo – lahat ng lugar hindi pa rin ganoon karami pa. ang maganda ay pinupuntahan na tayo, choice na tayo,” he added.

He also said tourist arrivals have constantly increased as manifested by increase of flights to the city and number of bookings in accommodation establishments, especially with the coming international event in November.

“Kinukulang na nga tayo ng airline (flights) kasi yung average na 15 flights a day, medyo kinapos tayo. Ini-expect pa natin na dadami dahil meron tayong Ironman sa November, kasabay siya ng Subaraw Festival,” he said.

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