LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 17 (PNA) -– The tourism industry of the province of Albay registered a 29-percent growth during the first 10 months of this year, higher than the 11.4-percent increase posted during the same period last year.
Based on the records of the Department of Tourism Bicol regional office, Albay was visited by 520,536 tourists from January to October this year as against the 403,480 chalked up last year.
The number in the current period is broken down as follows: local tourists, 369,648, and foreign visitors, 150,852.
Last year, local tourists numbered 371,608; while foreign travelers numbered 131,874.
Governor Joey Sarte Salceda said the growth of the tourism industry in the province is a result of an aggressive campaign and tourism program of the local government unit.
These were boosted by the hosting of the conferences of various groups in the country.
It can be recalled that Albay was named as the seventh Top Ten Largest Over-Night Destinations of the country last year as a result of its beautiful tourism sites, complete tourism facilities and services.
Salceda said Mayon volcano is still the number one tourist attraction of Albay, enhanced by the tourism assets of Cagsawa Ruins Park in Daraga town.
The province is just waiting for the park's declaration by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to declare it as a heritage park.
In addition to these are the Mayon Planetarium in Tabaco City; red clay pottery in Tiwi town; native delicacies like the "pinangat" of Camalig, the famous Bicol Express and the longganiza of Guinobatan; vintage houses; century-old churches and many other tourist and cultural attractions.
The various festivals in the province during the year have also contributed a lot in attracting tourists like the Daragang Magayon Festival in the month of April. (PNA) LAP/FGS/NIM/CBD/UTB