More tourists flock to Clark in 2016

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TOURIST arrivals in Clark rose to 1.92 million last year, an increase of 2.27 percent from 2015, and with more of the visitors staying at the Clark Freeport for more than just a day, data from Clark Development Corporation (CDC) showed on Thursday.

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According to the 2016 Annual Report of the Tourism Promotions Division of CDC, tourism arrivals at the Clark International Airport (CRK) also rose by 8 percent to 457,283 in 2016.

Of the total tourist arrivals in 2015, a little more than one million were hotel guests inside the Freeport, while 448,766 were same day tourists, CDC said. But in 2016, a total of 1.1 million visitors registered as hotel guests, of whom just 352,882 were day tourists, it added.

The figures include data from seven hotels in 2015 and 13 hotels in 2016.

A Clark Festival in 2016 posted an estimated 26,350 visitors last December 3 and 4 as compared to 23,000 visitors in 2015, according to CDC.

The growth was also attributed to the yearly Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta which contributes 110,000 local and foreign visitors yearly, the CDC said.

At present, Clark has over 2,000 hotel rooms, 63 convention and meeting facilities, 75 dining facilities, eight wellness facilities, and five hospitals. The Freeport also has six casinos, four golf courses, international racetrack and other sports facilities, including seven shopping centers, 20 banks, 12 convenience stores, and six petrol depots.

The CDC signed earlier this year a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Tourism to promote tourism in the area, which CDC President Noel Manankil recognizes as a “strong driver of social and economic development.”

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