More tourists in Dinagat Island this year

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SAN JOSE, Dinagat Island (MindaNews/08 December) — The number of tourist arrivals in Dinagat Province has increased this year compared to the previous year, an official said.

Benlen Naval, head of the provincial tourism office in Dinagat Province said there were 45,825 tourists from January to September compared to only 25,966 from January to December last year.

“This would mean more jobs and opportunities locally,” Dinagat Gov. Glenda Ecleo said on Saturday.

In her State of the Province Address last Wednesday in San Jose town, Ecleo cited that the tourism industry has helped boost the local economy.

The sugar-fine white sand in Bitaog Beach in Barangay Rizal, Basilisa town in Dinagat Province offers tired souls an idyllic refuge from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Photo taken December 7, 2015. Roel N. Catoto The sugar-fine white sand in Bitaog Beach in Barangay Rizal, Basilisa town in Dinagat Province offers tired souls an idyllic refuge from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Photo taken December 7, 2015. Roel N. Catoto

Ecleo quoted a Department of Tourism-Caraga Region report that each tourist in the island would spend at least 1000 pesos every day.

She said the number of tourists this year means a monthly income of around P5 million.

On Sunday, Naval said 1,360 foreign tourists came to Dinagat last year and 2,663 so far this year.

At least 50 percent of foreign tourists came to San Jose, the capital town.

The province has seven towns.

Naval said that with more tourists coming in, inns in different towns have been receiving more guests.

“I guess this has something to do with social media where everyone posts pictures of tourist attractions in Dinagat,” he said.

Naval said the bulk of these tourists would come every May.

For two weeks on this month San Jose town would host various activities to mark the founding celebration of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association, a group founded by the late Ruben Ecleo Sr., husband of the governor. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)

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