Legazpi hopes for a million Chinese tourists as RP breaks visitor record

The efforts of the government to lure more tourists received a boost as Legazpi City in Albay, and Henyang city in China work to get a million Chinese visitors to the picturesque Philippine city.

"The prospect one million tourists from Hengyang are also potential to become investors and would bring more business activities that would help boost the city’s local economy,” Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal said in an interview on Monday.

Rosal had a dialogue with Hengyang Vice-Mayor Gong Xueye and his officials here last March 17-19.

He said Legazpi city government and Hengyang shared best practices in order to sustain the increasing number of tourist arrivals and also to improve the agricultural productivity of this city.

Rosal noted the good relationship of Legazpi and Hengyang was a “long term agreement” that would serve as an open window for opportunities to uplift the lives of the people of both localities.

For his part, Department of Tourism director for Bicol Benjie Santiago said he would talk to the management of Philippine Airlines (PAL) to open flight from Hengyang, China to Legazpi to accommodate more tourists.

Despite the political noise, security concerns, and travel advisories the Philippines faced last year, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said it had achieved a "milestone" after reaching an all-time high of international tourist arrivals in 2017 at 6,620,908, growing by 10.96 percent from the 2016 arrivals of 5,967,005. Of this figure, almost a million came from the Chinese mainland, double that of last years arrivals.

Reports from PNA , photo: PNA