A total of 3,764,664 tourists visited Region 12 in 2016 posting an increase of 18% compared in 2015, Regional Director Nelly Nita Dillera of the Department of Tourism (DOT) 12 reported during the Kapihan sa PIA 12 media forum held recently.
“All the local government units (LGUs) in the region reported an increase in tourist arrivals,” RD Dillera pointed out, “with Cotabato City garnering the biggest percentage increase at 70%.”
Region 12, also known as SOCCSKSARGEN, is composed of the provinces of Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the cities of Cotabato, Kidapawan, Tacurong, Koronadal and General Santos.
South Cotabato and its lone component city and provincial capital Koronadal City posted a tourist arrival of 535, 203 and 117,707, respectively, showing an increase of 22% and 40% in that order.
Tourist arrivals registered by other LGUs are as follows: General Santos City – 1,345,570 (11% increase); Sarangani – 619,940 (2% increase); Cotabato Province – 340,909 (19%); Cotabato City – 346,063 (70% increase); Kidapawan City -156,125 (1%); Tacurong City – 188,935 (43%); Sultan Kudarat – 114,842 (28%);
“Among foreign tourists, Koreans topped the list of visitors, followed by Saudi Arabians, Chinese, Americans and Malaysians,” Dillera added.
DOT 12 ill embark into another marketing and promotional campaign this year dubbed “SOX is NEXT”, enticing local and foreign tourist that SOCCSKSARGEN should be the next tourist destination of choice in the country.