The Ilocos Norte provincial government through the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO) has been recording an increasing number of tourists and visitors in the province since it officially opened its tourism once again on September 24.
As of Wednesday, a total of 229 tourists arrived in the province, recording its biggest single-day arrival in October 10, with 51 tourists, most from the National Capital Region, Cagayan, Baguio City, La Union, and Pampanga.
“We’re happy to share that we have an increasing number of tourist arrivals in Ilocos Norte. I know that these are not impressive numbers especially before the pandemic, as we were welcoming thousands of tourists back then. With our current situation, this is not bad at all,” Xavier Ruiz, INTO Officer-in-Charge said.
“We can see the trend that people from our neighboring provinces and regions are actually traveling just to visit our province. Most of them would stay in resorts in Pagudpud for staycations and some would go around the province as tourists,” Ruiz added.
Recently, the “Come IN Online Travel Sale” was relaunched by the INTO to provide exclusive deals and bigger discounts to tourists who will book their trip in Ilocos Norte from October 1 to December 31, 2021.
“Through the ‘Come IN Online Travel Sale,’ we were able to gather tourism establishments, composed of mostly accommodation establishments and travel agencies throughout the province, to participate. Fortunately, we’ve been getting positive feedback and we have been receiving travel inquiries and bookings so we’re really expecting to have a steady, safe, and sure increase in tourists arrival going into the Christmas season,” Mr. Ruiz remarked.
Ilocos Norte was the first province in the Philippines to be awarded with the World Travel and Tourism Council Safe Travels Stamp for its adoption of globally recognized health and safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Fully vaxxed minors, adults now allowed”
Non-high-risk individuals below 18, fully-vaccinated individuals above 65 years old, and individuals with comorbidity, along with full vaccinated pregnant women, are now welcome to travel to Ilocos Norte.
As per the Department of Tourism, these individuals are now allowed to travel in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and general modified community quarantine (MGCQ), after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) released the new guidelines allowing interzonal travel for these individuals under Alert Level 4 areas.
“Kids, seniors, and even pregnant women are already allowed to travel in Ilocos Norte. However, as of now, we’re still requiring tests. This is to further ensure the safety and protection not only of our tourists but to the entire community as well. Also, for the record, we haven’t had a single case of COVID-19 because of tourism so we would like to continue having a safe tourism,” Mr. Ruiz emphasized.
INTO has recorded almost 353,000-day visitors and locals, almost 4,000 tourists have visited the province, and almost 121,000 APORs and staycation visitors have stayed in accommodation establishments throughout the province since October last year.
Meanwhile, more than 86% of the total population of primary tourism workers have been inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine.