NEW TOURISM CIRCUITS. Department of Tourism Caraga Regional Director Ivonnie Dumadag on Tuesday (Feb. 7, 2023) bares the agency's focus on' revisiting and discovery of new tourism circuits in the region to lure more tourists this year. In 2022, some 706,677 tourist arrivals were recorded in the region, 692,515 of whom were domestic visitors. (Photo courtesy of DOT-13)

BUTUAN CITY – At least 706,677 tourist arrivals were recorded in the Caraga Region in 2022, almost double from the previous year, the regional Department of Tourism (DOT-13) reported Tuesday.

Data from the agency indicated that the tourist arrivals in 2022 has almost doubled compared to the 377,441 vacationers recorded in 2021.

Of the total number of visits last year, 692,515 were domestic visitors while 14,162 were foreign tourists.

DOT-13 Regional Director Ivonnie Dumadag said among the strategies the agency will implement this year is to invite more tourists into "revisiting and discovering new tourism circuits."

The strategy she said, aims to showcase lesser-known but promising destinations.

“The DOT-13 will also strengthen the promotions of our local culture and heritage, arts and food, among others,” she said.

The move, she added, is in line with the directive of DOT Secretary Maria Christina Garcia Frasco to create new tourism product portfolios under the Philippine Experience program.

“We will also support the Bisita Be My Guest (BBMG) program of the DOT central office, an incentive travel campaign wherein Filipinos, especially those abroad, can invite foreigners to visit the country and have a chance to win special prizes and discounts from participating establishments,” Dumadag said.

More training will also be provided to the front-liners of the tourism industry in the region through the implementation of the Tourism Industry Skills Program, she added.

Dumadag said the agency is also working with the local government units (LGUs) in the region to respond to issues and concerns on tourism.

The LGUs, she emphasized, play a crucial role in the development of the tourism sector in their respective localities. (PNA)