Ilocos Norte posts 208% rise in tourist arrivals during Holy Week

Apr 26, 2019 ...

Ilocos Norte has recorded a continuous growth in the number of tourists who visit the province during Holy Week or Semana Santa, data from 2015 to 2019 show.

This year, the Provincial Tourism Office documented 483,778 visitors, posting a 6% progress compared to the same period last year and a 208% increase compared to figures in 2015 when 232,678 tourists flocked to Ilocos Norte during the long weekend.

According to Provincial Tourism Officer Mr. Aianree Raquel, the highest tourist attraction this year was posted in the Bangui Windmills. It was followed by the Paoay Church, Blue Lagoon Resort in Pagudpud, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Burgos, and Suba Sand Dunes in Paoay, respectively. This is based on the report from the Local Government Units (LGUs) and tourism ambassadors deployed in various tourist sites.

Among the top attractions with the highest number of arrivals, data showed that Suba Sand Dunes posted a 291% increase, from over 6,000 in 2018 to 25,000 this year. The Sand Dunes, a one of its kind in the Philippines, is home to the famed ecotourism adventure and sand sports in Ilocos.

Raquel added that tourists are now more dispersed in the province. "Their concentration are not only limited in just a few places. From Badoc all the way to Pagudpud, mas dumarami ang attractions, mas dumarami rin ang bisita. Mayroon na tayong Sunflower Farm sa Piddig, Madongan Dam sa Dingras, Solsona-Apayao Road, at ang pinakabagong Bikeline at Zipline sa Vintar. Dumarami rin ang umaakyat sa Adams and we're glad to report that the number is still very manageable," he said, adding that the business climate for all tourism stakeholders has become even healthier and more robust, thereby multiplying employment and livelihood opportunities for locals.

Tourism ambassadors under the Tourism Ambassador Program of Governor Imee R. Marcos were lauded by visitors for their effective and courteous assistance. Peace and order and the safety of tourists were also given importance, with no untoward incidents and zero casualties recorded during the Holy Week.

by Stewart Ocampo



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