Chinese dislodge Koreans as top Boracay visitors
ILOILO CITY—Chinese tourists for the first time toppled Koreans as the top foreign visitors on Boracay Island in Aklan province.
The number of Chinese tourists on the island last year reached 375,284, surpassing by 5.32 percent the 356,644 Korean tourists who went to Boracay in Malay town.
Helen Catalbas, Department of Tourism regional director in Western Visayas, said direct flights from Kalibo International Airport in the capital town of Kalibo to eight airports in China could have contributed to the increase in Chinese tourist arrivals.
Catalbas said the increase in the number of tour groups, trips of cruise ships and direct flights to airports in the village of Caticlan in Malay and Kalibo boosted tourist arrivals from China and Korea, which made up 69 percent of all foreign tourists in the area last year.
Foreigners comprised more than half of over two million tourists who went to Boracay last year. Tourist arrivals on the island, which hit a new record high, increased by 16 percent last year from the 1.72 million visitors recorded in 2016.
Records from the Malay tourism office showed visitors from Taiwan were the third biggest group of foreign tourists (40,802), followed by the United States (22,648) and Malaysia (20,585). —NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.
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