TOURISM

A visit to Iloilo is a complete adventure of the senses. From its rich historical heritage, captivating natural landscapes and seascapes to its exciting festivals and sumptuous food feasts, Iloilo gives guests unforgettable experiences and Ilonggos a way of showcasing local pride.

highlights

tourism in numbers

Tourist ArrivalsPhilippine Residents Non-Philippine Residents Total Tourism Receipts Generated
City
206,2043,096 P3.7 billion
Province
957,09042,677P12 billion

Source: City Tourism Office and Provincial Tourism Office 2014

Ati tribe dancer during Dinagyang Festival.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Miag-ao Church or the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church.

Cabugao Gamay Island in  Carles, Iloilo.

The Iloilo Convention Center.

Festivals

  • Iloilo Dinagyang Festival (4th Weekend of January) is the grandest and most colorful festival in the Philippines.
  • Paraw Regatta Festival is the oldest traditional craft event sailing competition in Asia.
  • The Chinese New Year celebration in Iloilo is one of the biggest in the country and  is organized in solidarity with the local Chinese community.
  • To advocate a healthy way of life and show-off Iloilo City as a bike-friendly and walkable city, the Bike Festival is held every March.
  • Attracting rowing athletes and enthusiasts all over the country, the Dragon Boat Festival is held at the middle of the year.

Landscapes and Seascapes

  • Development of Sicogon Island in Carles, Iloilo by Ayala Land is guaranteed to make Iloilo a premier tourist destination in the world.
  • Tourists and locals enjoy the unspoiled beaches of Gigantes Islands, Cabugao Gamay, and Tangke Lagoon.
  • Adventure campers and hikers indulge in the challenging rugged trails in the mountains of Igbaras and Bucari in Leon. 
  • Home to over 30 caves and serves as living museum for flora and fauna, Bulabog Putian National Park, the only one in Western Visayas, draws caving enthusiasts and biologists to marvel at its diverse ecosystems.

Heritage Sites

  • Remnants of Iloilo’s  glorious past are still evident in the iconic-imagery of the well-preserved structures and heritage houses.
  • Old homes of well-known Ilonggos like the Nelly Garden Mansion, Boat House, and Casa Mariquit of the Lopezes, the Antillan house of the Montinolas, the Camina Balay na Bato of the Melocoton-Avancena clan, remain preserved and open to organized tours.
  • Century old churches such as the Jaro Cathedral (the National Shrine of the Lady of Candles); Molo Church; and the Miagao Church (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) continue to attract pilgrims and devotees.
  • Turn of the century commercial buildings in down town Iloilo City-Calle Real are still being utilized by local businesses. Because of restoration initiatives of the private sector, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines has declared Calle Real as a heritage zone and historical landmark.

Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events (M.I.C.E.) Industry

  • Iloilo has become a choice destination for meetings, incentive travel, conventions and events with the improvement and increase of facilities, hotel rooms, specialty restaurants, and retail chains.
  • The establishment of the  Iloilo Convention Center plays a major role in attracting these events because of its world-class amenities and facilities.
  • The influx of events being held in Iloilo City push the accommodations to increase and the hotel room capacity grew to 3,432.

Food Feasts

  • The growing number of home grown restaurants and popular chains are testament to Ilonggo’s love for quality cuisine and comfort food.
  • Tourists make it a point to indulge in Ilonggo’s favorite comfort food – Batchoy, Roberto’s Siopao, Pancit Molo and other local delicacies to complete their Iloilo experience.
  • Baked cookies and pastries such as barquillos, butterscotch, biscocho; artisan crafts such as Hablon products; and dried goods are favorite “pasalubong” or take home gifts of tourists.
  • Food festivals organized by hotel and restaurant associations during major tourism events showcase the best of Ilonggo cuisine.

APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting 2015 at Iloilo Convention Center

ASEAN 2017 Ministers’ Meetings at the Iloilo Convention Center

Iloilo’s favorite comfort food, the Batchoy.

Investment Areas Selection