Holy Week tourist arrivals in Boracay Island registered 54,887 this year, up by 23 percent compared to the same period last year.
Data from Municipal Tourism Office showed local tourists gone up by 30 percent to 34,513 from 26,513 arrivals. The long-holiday vacation attracted local travellers, which accounted for 63 percent of the total arrivals.
The rise in numbers of local tourists was largely due to “early dates of closing ceremonies and graduation rites of colleges and universities”, according to Malay Chief Tourism Operations Officer Felix Delos Santos, Jr.
“They chose to celebrate (Semana Santa) here in Boracay Island. We offer families the opportunity to spend Holy Week in a family tourist destination,” he added.
Holy Thursday had the most number of tourists with 13,575. Holy Wednesday had 8,368 followed by Good Friday had 6,815 and Holy Monday with 6,752 arrivals.
Black Saturday had 6,677 arrivals while Holy Tuesday posted 6,611 arrivals and Easter Sunday with 6,089.
From April 10 to 16, foreign arrivals rose by 12 percent from 19,490 arrivals to 17,453.
The improvement in tourism statistics was also due in part to increased regional flights from neighboring countries that attracted large numbers of Chinese and Korean tourists.
Security forces went also on full alert to ensure the safety of tourists during the observance of Semana Santa in the island, acclaimed as Trip Advisor’s Top 10 beach destinations in Asia this year.
Last year, a total of 44,786 tourists stayed in Boracay Island from March 21 to 27. Of the figures, 17,453 were foreigners and 820 were overseas Filipino. Holy Thursday had 11,096 arrivals while Holy Wednesday came in second with 6,396 arrivals.