Photo from Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park and World Heritage Site FB page

The city tourism’s road to recovery is growing faster than expected considering the pace that it is now moving, and the continuous rise of arrivals City Tourism Officer Demetrio Alvior Jr. said.

He stated that as the effects of COVID-19 pandemic wanes, tourists have also begun to return, one proof of which is the data from the Department of Tourism that says Puerto Princesa is once again the number one destination in MIMAROPA.

DOT records showed Palawan has accounted for 65 percent of the more than 782,000 tourist arrivals in the region, with 507,164 visiting the island from January to November this year.

“We are looking at three to four years sa ating recovery natin pero sa nangyayari mukhang mapapabilis dahil maganda na yung nagiging takbo ng ating turismo, mataas na ang arrival natin,” Alvior said.

He also attributed the rise in tourist arrivals to the MICE tourism (meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibits) which the city government is now marketing.

“So we are averaging two LGUs and two groups na dumarating every week,” he said.

Furthermore, he said a group of travel agency operators from the United Kingdom and investors from Korea also arrived to engage in different activities.

“Kahapon, dumating yung malalaking travel agency from the United Kingdom, magkakaroon sila ng familiarization tour dahil isa sa target nila rin na dalhan ng turista ang ating lungsod. So gusto nilang mag-occular inspection,” he explained.

“And then may dumating din na Korean investors na gusto rin magbigay ng support doon sa mga project proposals ng city government and mag-invest,” he added.

He said the Korean groups that arrived are different from the group that came last month, who expressed intention to setup golf courses at the environmental estate in Barangay Sta. Lucia.

Although this group also wants to establish convention centers and hotels. Actually, they are composed of two groups who are proposing different investments. The one also wants to establish convention centers and hotels,” he said.

He also said there are already confirmed cruise ships that are scheduled to arrive in March and April next year.

“In fact yung Queen Elizabeth, yung pinakamalaking cruise ship na pumunta before ay confirmed na rin na darating next year, at meron pa ring iba na nag-signify na pupunta although hindi pa confirmed,” he said.