The Cagayan Valley and Northern Philippine Islands welcomed 2.62 million visitors in 2016 representing an increase of 22.4% over the 2015 visitor arrivals of 2.14 million. The figure includes tourists as well as same-day visitors.

Tourist arrivals (those who stay at least one night) in 2016 registered an increase of 4.35% over the previous year. Tourist arrivals totaling to 826,841 is composed of 563,450 domestic and 263,391 foreign tourists. Data source for tourist arrivals are from the accommodation establishments within the region.

Same Day Visitor arrivals (those who don’t stay overnight) in 2016 likewise registered an increase of 34.39% over 2015. Same Day Visitor arrivals totaling to 1,810,732 is composed of 1,800,169 domestic and 10,563 foreign. Data source for same day visitors are from tourism sites and attractions.

Gross receipts from visitor spending reached PHP 7,269,517,880.00. The mainland Cagayan Valley provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and its four cities (Tuguegarao, Ilagan, Cauayan, and Santiago) contributed PHP 6.9 billion in visitor receipts. Batanes province contributed PHP 336.7 million in visitor receipts. (Batanes visitor receipts are computed differently due to higher visitor expenditures.)

Region 2’s top ten foreign markets are China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Korea, USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, India and Singapore as follows:

CHINA – 245,555
TAIWAN – 3,325
KOREA – 1,419
USA – 1,256
CANADA – 538
JAPAN – 412
INDIA – 321

The increase in visitor arrivals is attributed to the improved access and connectivity to tourism attractions and destinations wherein 22 tourism roads are funded under the DOT-DPWH convergence.

For the Bottoms-Up-Budgeting (BUB) projects, there were 25 local government units which prioritized tourism development projects particularly for tourism product development, infrastructure, and industry manpower skills training.

Cagayan province remained the top provincial tourist destination with 345,000 tourists followed by Nueva Vizcaya with 102,000 tourists. Isabela was the best performing province with a 59% increase in tourist numbers from 22,170 in 2015 to 33,548 in 2016.

Tuguegarao City remained the most visited city in 2016 with 110,300 tourists, despite recording a 19.7% decrease in tourists from 2015. Cauayan City was the best performing city government with a 24% increase in tourist numbers with 96,000.

Batanes province, the region’s premium tourist destination had a respectable 5.8% growth in tourist numbers in 2016 with 27,400.

The office acted upon 431 tourism enterprises for new and renewals applications of which 202 tourism enterprises were eventually accredited.

The development, enhancement and marketing of wide range of diversified tourism products allowed visitors to stay longer in the region. The DOT Cagayan Valley Regional Office undertook marketing and promotional programs which includes the production and distribution of IEC materials, PR works, linkages with media and participation to travel fairs and exhibits,.

The region has also improved and widened data collection with support of the LGUs and the accommodation establishments. LGUs and accommodation staff were trained on local tourism statistics gathering and reporting system, aside from the conducted manpower trainings to tourism industry providers to improve and upgrade their skills.

The Cagayan Valley and Northern Philippine Islands is expected to further perform strongly in 2017 with renewed product development efforts in agri-tourism, river tourism, cruising, and the introduction to market of Faith, Farm, and Food tour packages.