Ilocos Norte expects influx of tourists this Holy Week

LAOAG CITY — A huge number of tourists are expected to arrive here in time for the Holy Week celebration.

Aiming to surpass over 400,000 day tourists recorded on the same period last year, the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) has started deploying about 300 tourist aides, historians and cultural performers which include students, nurses, out-of-school youth and even senior citizens who are eager to share the history of Ilocos Norte to pilgrim goers and other visitors.

For the first time, the provincial government hired at least 20 retired individuals who will be deployed in museums being frequented by tourists.

Prior to their deployment, the newly-hired tourism ambassadors underwent skills training to assist tourists and to familiarize them on the various facilities the provincial government maintains.

On Good Friday, April 14, the international seaport of Currimao is ready to welcome the sixth batch of Star Cruise passengers who will visit some of Ilocos Norte’s historical and cultural landmarks before they will sail to their second and third stops in Kaosiung, Taiwan and Hongkong and then back to Manila.

Star Cruises was the first major cruise line to recruit Filipinos. On March 19, this year, the same company is again the first international cruise line to make Manila its home port.

Last week, about 9,000 delegates for the Youth for Christ International Conference from various parts of the Philippines including East Timor, France, Belgium and Malta, among others, arrived by air and by land to Laoag City.

As hotels were all fully-booked, some of the delegates stayed in schools near the Centennial Arena where the event was held.

To date, Ianree Raquel, head of the PTO reported Monday they are closely monitoring public and private utilities for the provision of clean restrooms along the way.

He urged all tourism stakeholders in the province to provide unforgettable experience to visitors and make them come again and again. LEILANI ADRIANO/PNA-northboundasia.com