Hundred Islands’ tourist arrivals up by 92% in March

ALAMINOS CITY—Things are looking up for the Hundred Islands National Park!

Tourist arrivals here have been increasing steadily even with Boracay still open until April 26.

The visitors tally in the month of March alone almost doubled, data from the City Tourism Office showed.

Last month, there were 74,176 registered guests (compared to 38, 562 in March last year or 92.3% increase) most of whom came to witness the staging of the Paraw Festival, a main feature of the city fiesta celebration and the Holy Week observance.

Mike Sison, tourism officer of Alaminos City, said the city hosted 52,111 guests in January and 47,090 in February, compared to last year’s 50,245 and 33,773 respectively.

The number of guests is determined by the passenger’s manifests signed by visitors before they are ferried by motorized bancas to their island destinations.

Each guest pays P80 inclusive of environmental, entrance, insurance fees, Sison said.

Sison cited the additional and new attractions in the HINP, like the recently-opened Pilgrimage Island that received wide publicity in mainstream and social media, as one among many factors that lure visitors to the Hundred Islands.

There are more than 900 motorized bancas that ferry tourists to islands of their choice.

Sison said the impact of the impending six-month closure of world famous Boracay Island, a favorite tourist hub in the province of Aklan has not been felt but is expected to favorably have impact on the Hundred Islands.

“Maybe, once Boracay is closed, more tourists will come to Hundred Islands. We are prepared for this,” Sison said.

Meanwhile, Alaminos’ HINP, was a stopover destination again this time for L’Austral, a fully booked French mega-cruise yacht, on April 1 that carried 264 passengers, mostly French citizens, and 136 crew members of which 80% are Filipinos. (Eva Visperas)

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