Sep 4, 2009

Ilocos Norte is Among RP's Top 10 Tourist Destinations

By Leilanie Adriano
Ilocos Times
Philippine Correspondents, Fil-Am Observer

THE diversified features of Ilocos Norte as a tourist attraction has put the province as the 10th top tourist destination in the country for the period of 2008 up to the first quarter of this year.

This announced by senior tourism officer-in-charge Ma. Milagros R. Gonzales of the Department of Tourism-Laoag sub-office.

Among the the best features in Ilocos Norte that every visitor must and experience include natural, cultural and sport facilities, Gonzales said because Ilocanos take pride of their rich cultural heritage sites like the Paoay Church, the century-old Cape Bojeador Kighthouse, the newly build windmills, crystal clear waters, waterfalls, museums, rock formations, sand dunes as well as water sports facilities for scuba diving, surfing, and kayaking, among others.

Despite the worldwide financial crisis and Influenza A [H1N1] scare, tourist arrivals in Ilocos Norte managed to make it to the top 10 major destinations in the Philippines, with a total tourist volume of 99, 747 from January to June 2009.

The number of tourist arrivals being monitored by the DOT covers guests and visitors reportly by DOT-accredited hotels.

With the sustained promotional effort of the DOT-Laoag sub-office and other tourism stakeholders catering to the balikbayan market, especially in Hawai'i, Gonzales said her office has coordinated with the Manila Economic and Cultural Office [MECO] tourism director for the possible reduction of visa fee of Taiwanese tourists taking charter flights to Laoag to entice more tourists from Taiwan and make Ilocos Norte their major travel destination in Asia.

Among the top 16 tourism destinations that went up by 16. 5% reaching close to 4 million in the first semester of 2009 arranged in order based on DOT records are Camarines Sur, Cebu, Boracay, Baguio City, Davao, Puerto Galera, Bohol, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Ilocos Norte, Masbate, Camarines Norte, Puerto Princesa, Legazpi City, Catanduanes and Sorsogon.

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