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The number of tourist arrivals in the province has more than doubled in the first five months of 2023 as the country’s tourism industry continues to recover from the pandemic-induced slump.

Data from the Bohol Tourism Office showed that a total of 326,306 tourists arrived from January to May this year, marking a whopping 129 percent increase from the 158,014 arrivals recorded in the same period in 2022.

Former BTO chief Jo Cabarus, who was at the helm of the local agency during the period, attributed the spike in tourist arrivals to the resumption of international flights at the Bohol Panglao International Airports (BPIA).

“Nisaka g’yud ni siya kay daghan naman kaayo ta og flights karon from Korea. Tulo naman na ka flights. So definitely mo taas gyud ang atong arrivals,” Cabarus said.

The former top tourism official was pertaining to the daily flights of Jeju Air and Air Busan which have two flights and one flight to Bohol per day, respectively.

Cabarus added that the province also gained from the so-called “revenge travel,” or the resurgence in travel after years of strict COVID-19 restrictions.

“Ang mga taw karon gusto gyud mag suroy-suroy and go to many places kay of course open na ang mga borders and also the fact na karon, daghan og mga sale sa airfare,” she said.

Based on the BTO data for the same period, both the arrivals of both local and foreign tourist soared.

The number of foreign tourist arrivals ballooned by a staggering 1,811 percent from 6,047 in 2022 to 115,562 this year.

Meanwhile, 246,744 local tourists arrived in the same period, up by 62 percent from 151,967 in the previous year.

According to the BTO, Bohol’s top tourism market is Korea. It followed by Taiwan, USA, China and France.

The Bohol Chronicle – July 5, 2023

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