SUBIC BAY FREEPORT”•Subic Bay is now the fourth most popular tourist destination in the Philippines, an official said Friday.
Ronaldo Tiotuico, the Tourism Department’s director for Central Luzon, said the Subic Bay Freeport and the rest of Zambales soared to number four in 2015 among the top 10 tourist destinations in the country and were topped only by Cebu, Davao and Camarines Sur.
The top 10 tourist destinations in the country in 2015 included Boracay, Albay/Legazpi City, Metro Manila, Clark/Pampanga, Laguna and Benguet/Baguio City.
Tiotuico said the Subic Bay Freeport hosted 1.67-million domestic and foreign visitors in 2015, a 28-percent increase from 1.265-million visitors in 2014.
He said the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority had been instrumental in developing Subic as a major tourist destination in Central Luzon.
“Such success is due to the determination of the entire manpower complement of the SBMA under the leadership of Chairman Roberto Garcia,” Tiotuico said.
Garcia said Subic gained significant attention after the Tourism Department recognized it as the top tourist destination in Central Luzon in 2013.
“This only validates Subic’s attractiveness not only as top tourist destination but also as the convention capital of Central Luzon,” Garcia said.
The SBMA’s Mary Jamelle Camba said Subic had become a favorite location for watersport tourism and nature-related activities.
She also said the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center had become a prominent venue for international events and conferences as it could seat 10,000 people.
She said the Subic Bay Freeport now had 44 hotels with a total of 3,244 rooms.