523K visited Pangasinan’s Hundred Islands in 2019

523K visited Pangasinan’s Hundred Islands in 2019

ALAMINOS CITY, Pangasinan — A total of 522,917 tourists visited the famous Hundred Islands National Park (HINP) here from January 1 to December 31 last year, resulting in PHP44.73 million in income for the city.

In an interview Monday, City Tourism Officer Miguel Sison said last year’s tourist arrivals declined by 4.5 percent compared to the recorded tourist arrivals of 547,490 in 2018.

“There were 29 days no travel to the islands due to gale warnings and typhoons,” Sison said.

HINP was only accessible through boats from the Lucap Wharf in the city proper.

Of the total number, Sison said 507,929 were domestic tourists, while 14,988 were foreign tourists.

The peak of tourist arrivals was in May with a total of 65,604 tourists who visited the islands.

He said the activities being enjoyed by the tourists are banana boat ride, jet-ski ride, island-to-island ziplines, helmet diving, island hopping, and swimming, among others.

HINP has 25 main islands of which, eight are open to tourists, while the Bat and Monkey islands are just for viewing and the rest are still being developed, he added.

“We used to have only three active islands,” said Sison, referring to Governor’s Island, Children’s Island and Quezon Island. “But now, we have the Clave Island, Lopez Island, Marcos Island, Monkey Island, Bat Island and the Old Scout Island, wherein a portion of it is the snorkeling area for its corals.”

In a separate interview, Mayor Arth Brian Celeste said the city continues to develop the national park to attract more tourists.

“We are looking for more snorkeling areas in the HINP,” he said.

HINP is the third most visited tourist destination in Pangasinan next to the Provincial Capitol grounds in Lingayen town, and the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, which is the top tourist destination in the province, according to the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office.   Hilda Austria /PNA – northboundasia.com