The province of Aklan and Iloilo City have remained the top tourist destinations in Western Visayas, according to data from the Department of Tourism (DOT-6).

Aklan, which is home to the world-renowned Boracay Island, attracted 2, 200, 138 tourists last year, the highest in the whole region. The number went up by 19.63 percent compared to 2022’s 1, 839, 140 tourist arrivals.

Iloilo City logged the second highest tourist arrivals at 886, 283. It gained a 17.81 percent increase compared to the 752, 301 tourist arrivals logged in the preceding year.

Bacolod City ranked third with 780, 916 tourist arrivals, followed by Negros Occidental (694, 015), Capiz, 196, 844), Antique (149, 509), and Guimaras (133, 818).

All in all, the region welcomed 5, 360, 058 local and foreign tourists last year, higher by 22.88 percent compared to the preceding year’s 4, 362, 067 tourist arrivals.

The number of tourist arrivals in 2023 accounted to more than P70 billion in estimated visitor receipts.

The region’s top source of foreign visitors was South Korea (199,114), followed by the U.S.A. (66,513), China (46, 565), Australia (22,499) and Taiwan (21, 643)

The figures were presented by Phoebe Zelie C. Areño, DOT-6 assistant regional director,  during “Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas” on Tuesday, July 9.IMT

REPORTING by Eugine Soqueña, West Visayas State University College of Communication intern; EDITING by Reymar Latoza