1. Cebu (1.615 million)
Korean tourists became the top market for the Queen City of the South, comprising 29% of total foreign tourists. Chinese tourists increased by 70% as more charter flights were booked between Cebu and Shanghai, as well as from Guangzhou.
2. Camarines Sur (1.566 million)
Better known as CamSur, the province had a dramatic 117.2 % increase in tourists, welcoming an estimated 1.5 million visitors last year. In 2008, more than 720,000 went wakeboarding at the CamSur Watersports Complex. Events like the First Aqua Fest Celebrity Challenge, Ironman 70.3 Triathlon, International Dragon Boat Competition and Bagasbas Summer Surf gave travelers excellent reasons to visit this tourist spot in the Bicol region.
3. Metro Manila (1.442 million)
The opening of 1,056 new accommodation rooms in hotels improved the tourist activity in the country's busiest region. Last year, 20 cruise liners docked in Manila. Tourist arrivals from these ships marked a 2.24% growth from 17,516 visitors in 2008 to 17,908 in the previous year. Intramuros, a famous landmark in Manila, and Tagaytay are the two most-preferred places of visit. If you want a quick escape, rent a Private Pool in Metro Manila.
4. Baguio (770,187)
The summer capital of the Philippines experienced a 20% increase in tourists after the Kabayan mummies discovered the place after the Kabayan mummy burial caves were featured in documentaries on cable. European visitors made up the bulk of visitors to the Cordilleras where Baguio is located.
5. Davao (669,864)
Known for being the home of the country's highest peak, Davao also has visitors flocking to the Eden Nature Park and Crocodile Farm, two of the most popular tourist destinations in the city.
6. Boracay (649,559)
Taiwanese tourists to the island paradise increased by 72% since China Airlines started chartering flights there twice a week. Shanghai Airlines flights from Shanghai and Philippine Airlines flights from Hangzhou also boosted arrivals to Boracay by 26%.
7. Cagayan de Oro (359,867)
The City of White Water Rafting and River Trekking, Cagayan de Oro not only boasts of splendid views but also very warm and hospitable locals.
8. Zambales (323,271)
Three to four hours awa y from Manila, the province has some 170 kilometers of beaches with reefs, diving areas, and surfing spots. The Fiesta Poon Bato (Feast of the Sacred Stone) in January is a religious festival in honor of the Catholic Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, and attracts more than half a million tourists every year.
9. Bohol (313,317)
Home to the world-famous Chocolate Hills, the island also hosts tourist activities like the Ecological, Environmental and Educational Adventure Tour (EAT) in Danao. The program, completely funded by the municipal government, offers mind-blowing experiences like taking a 45-meter plunge over a gorge supported only by a rope harness. There is also a 1.5-kilometer 'Suislide' zipline. Other attractions include caving, river tubing, rappelling, kayaking, and root climbing. Yes, root climbing.
10. Puerto Princesa (268,942)
Upgrades done on the Puerto Princesa International Airport paved way for a 23% increase in foreign travelers and a 21% hike in domestic tourists. Local government efforts to develop eco-tourism has brought more visitors and has made them stay longer.
SOURCE: DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM, 2009