Philippines - Tourism, travel, and recreation

The increase in tourism that followed the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos was dampened by the national disasters of the early 1990s. The tourism industry has since rebounded. Manila remains the chief tourist attraction. Other points of interest are the 2,000-year-old rice terraces north of Baguio; Vigan, the old Spanish capital; Cebu, the oldest city; numerous beaches and mountain wilderness areas; and homes formerly owned by the Marcoses. Basketball is the national sport, followed in popularity by baseball and soccer. Jai-alai is popular in Manila and Cebu. Cockfighting is legal and often televised. Each tourist must have a valid passport and an onward or return ticket; no visa is required for a stay of less than 21 days.

In 2000, 1,992,169 tourists arrived in the Philippines. Over 50% of tourists arrived from East Asia and the Pacific and North Americans accounted for close to 25%. Revenues from tourism totaled $2.1 billion. There were 29,841 hotel rooms with 53,752 bed-places and a 59% occupancy rate.

According to 2003 US government estimates, the cost of staying in Manila is $194 per day. Travel expenses are estimated at $182 per day for Cebu City.

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