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Bikol Tourism Nets P365 M

LEGAZPI CITY, June 3  --- The tourism industry in Bikol posted a positive growth rate generating some P365 million in revenues during the 1st quarter of this year.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) in Bikol reported that the first three months of this year, it posted a 593,241 tourist arrivals with 13 percent growth rate compared to the 524,544 tourist arrivals during the same period last year.

During the 1st Quarter the DOT said 80 percent (454,016) of the tourist arrivals were locals while only 20 percent or 139,225 were foreign nationals.

Maria Ravanilla DOT regional director said the region's growth in tourist arrivals has been delivered by the three "icons" of tourism namely Mayon Volcano in Albay, CWC in Camarines Sur and Butanding (whaleshark) interaction in Donsol, Sorsogon.

Ravanilla said the province of Camarines Sur continues to bring in the bacon posting a 348,139 tourist arrivals generating P197 million in revenues, followed by Albay with 86,518 arrivals with P65 million revenue; Catanduanes - 31,432 arrivals/P35 million; Sorsogon- 31,049/P27.5 million; Masbate 49,061/P20.2 million; and Camarines Norte with 47,042 arrivals/P19.2 million revenues.

DOT data reveals that the industry continues to post an uptrend in grow receipts with P443.5 million in 2007, surging by P782 million in 2008, and hitting over a P1 billion mark last year.(PNA)