Some 712,053 visitors arrived in South Cotabato for the period January to June 2021, the Arts, Culture, Tourism and Museum (ACTM) Unit reported during the recent Municipal Tourism Officers regular meeting at Tboli Cultural Village, Barangay Lemsnolon in Tboli.
ichie Matunding, ACTM Planning & Research staff presented the report which showed the increase from 179,543 in 2020 to 712,053 in 2021 or a percentage increase of 296.57%.
The large increase in tourist arrivals can be attributed to relaxed CoviD-19 IATF guidelines that allowed tourists to travel to tourist destinations and attractions, but still with strict adherence to basic minimum health protocols particularly on accommodation capacity.
Lake Sebu still topped the visitor arrivals, registering 236,828 same day tourists and 19,991 guest nights for a total of 256,814. Following Lake Sebu is Norala (148,243), Tupi (132,210), Banga (73,023), Koronadal City (54,053), Tboli (19,029), Surallah (13,351), Tampakan (9,202), Tantangan (4,027), Polomolok (1,770), and Sto. Nino (213).
The month of April recorded the highest visitor arrival of 177,865, followed by March (166,727), February (146,325), January (121,634), May (63,212, June (36,270).
Foreign visitors in the province meanwhile totaled 68, with Americans as the top patronizing visitors at 23, followed by South Koreans – 20, Chinese – 7, Australians – 5, Indians and Scots at 4 each, New Zealander – 3, and Russian – 1.