Monday, April 17, 2017
BACOLOD City – The Department of Tourism (DOT)-6 in Western Visayas is working with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the development of more tourism roads in Negros Occidental.
DOT-6 administrative officer Artemio Ticar, tourism area development head for Negros Occidental, said in a report last week that more roads are needed to boost accessibility to tourism destinations in the province.
Although already under the Negros Island Region (NIR), Negros Occidental is still included in the program and project implementation of DOT-6.
Ticar said there are proposals to develop road connectivity between the cities of Bacolod and Talisay, particularly in the coastal side in the north, and Bago City proper going to Rafael Salas Park and Nature Center in Barangay Ilijan in the south.
He added that the DPWH Engineering Districts in Negros Occidental and the concerned local government units are identifying the potential road projects for evaluation of the DOT.
Ticar further said Negros Occidental, which ranks second in tourist arrivals in Western Visayas with about P32 billion in tourism receipts in 2016, needs to improve transport connectivity to earn bigger revenues.
He mentioned the importance of Bacolod-Silay Airport being able to cater to international flights to significantly increase foreign tourist arrivals.
DOT-6 records show that in 2016, almost 1.65 million domestic and foreign tourists visited Negros Occidental, with a 14 percent increase from the 1.42 million guests in 2015.
Bacolod City recorded 799,224 in tourist arrivals last year, higher by 14.33 percent higher compared to the 699,061 guests in 2015.
Both Negros Occidental and Bacolod City registered about 32 percent of the total tourist arrivals in Western Visayas in 2016 behind Aklan’s 1.9 million.
Both Iloilo province and Iloilo City posted total tourist arrivals of almost 1.25 million; Capiz, 190,276; Guimaras, 107,214; and Antique, 63,613. (PNA)