LEGAZPI CITY – After more than two years of lockdowns and implementation of health and safety protocols by the government against Covid-19 that heavily affected the business and tourism sectors, arrivals of both foreign and domestic visitors in this city increased by almost two hundred percent last year compared to 2021.
In an interview on Wednesday, Legazpi Tourism Office (CTO) chief Cristina Agapita Pacres said the holding of a series of meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) was the main driver in the influx of tourists.
She said the surge of visitors has contributed largely to the rebound of the city’s local economy, particularly the business and transport sectors that had been grossly affected by the pandemic.
Quoting official data, Pacres said the number of visitors here in 2022 shot up to 291,391 or a historic 197-percent increase compared to the 98,086 tourist arrivals in 2021.
“The volume of tourist arrivals is expected to further increase this year because different national organizations have pledged already to hold their conventions, seminars and other similar large gatherings here in Legazpi City,” she noted.
She said the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers (PICHE) and the Area B Assembly of United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) will hold their conventions here this month while the Rotary Club and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-International Conference on Organic Solid Waste Management are set to conduct their gatherings in this city in March.
“Among the organizations that are slated to hold their gatherings here are the Internationals River Summit including Kiwanis District, a national convention of Psychology and the 38th Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary,” Pacres said.
Pacres said she will conduct seminars that will redound to the satisfaction of visitors among stakeholders such as the legitimate tricycle drivers for efficient transport services to tourists "to encourage them to come back to the city.” (PNA)