Iloilo airport reports increasing visitor arrivals via international flights


ILOILO CITY, Philippines—International flight arrivals at the Iloilo airport continued to increase at the start of this year, boosting optimism in the tourism industry of the city and province of Iloilo.

Data from the Department of Tourism office in Western Visayas showed that visitor arrivals on direct flights from Singapore and Hong Kong in January reached 2,255, including 1,905 Filipinos, and a total of 1,991 including 1,575 Filipinos in February.

These followed the 1,510 arrivals, including 1,296 Filipinos, in November and 3,219, including 2,837 Filipinos, in December.

December is traditionally a peak travel month while tourist arrivals in Iloilo are high in January because of the city’s  Dinagyang festival.

Tourism regional director Helen Catalbas said the visitor arrivals from Singapore and Hong Kong comprised a significant number already although direct flights started only last November.

Budget carrier Cebu Pacific launched the Iloilo-Hong Kong flights on November 8 and the Iloilo-Singapore service on November 9.

The airline is flying direct flights to and from Hong Kong every Thursday and Sunday, and to and from Singapore every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Catalbas said that aside from Filipinos, the passengers included residents of 30 other countries, with the highest number coming from the United States, South Korea, Russia, China and Canada.

“This would still increase because the existence of the direct international flights to and from Iloilo and are not yet widely known,” she said.

Tourism in the region also got a boost with the visit of two international luxury cruise ships with 1,106 tourists to Boracay in the last two months.

The MS Columbus 2 of Hapag Lloyd Cruises anchored off the island in Aklan on February 24 while the MS Europa made a stopover on March 19.

On October 27, 2012, the cruise ship Legend of the Seas, operated by the Miami-based Royal Caribbean International tour company and carrying around 2,000 foreign tourists visited the island resort.

The DOT is targeting to attract three million tourists to Western Visayas this year, a 15-percent increase from the estimated 2.6 million recorded in 2012.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Binayawak

    best things are yet to come to iloilo… thanks to our government.

  • Jesse_Bruce_Pinkman

    I visited Iloilo some time ago and I thought there was nothing there. No offense but it was a mediocre place with nothing really special, except maybe during the Dinagyang festival. But it was just a one-day event.

    • Fayha

      correction, Dinagyang is two day event.

  • rickysgreyes

    Best batchoy in the WORLD!

  • kasile

    Maayo gid na basta indi lang mag blackout. .

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks




latest videos