More Chinese tourists arrive in Ilocos seaport

LAOAG CITY—More than 800 passengers on board the maiden voyage of M/V Diamond Glory of the Sea arrived on Tuesday morning at the privately-owned Omnico Natural Resources Inc. (ONRI) seaport here.

From Shanghai, China, the passengers are composed of 831 Chinese tourists and at least four Philippine nationals visiting Ilocos province for the first time, said Araceli Salem of the Department of Tourism Laoag sub-office.

Before sunrise, the DOT-Laoag and a group of student-receptionists from the Divine Word College of Laoag were already at the ONRI port waiting for the guests arrival at 7:00 a.m.

Guests were given welcome leis and were ushered to the waiting tour buses with guides.

The passengers are expected to visit the UNESCO-world heritage site of St. Augustine church in Paoay, Robinsons Mall in San Nicolas and some historical landmarks in Laoag.

After lunch, the passengers will be brought back to the seaport and depart at 3 p.m. on their way back to Shanghai, China.

While the state-run Currimao seaport is being fixed to accommodate larger vessels, local authorities here made an agreement with the ONRI to boost tourism growth in this northern gateway of Luzon.

The Bahamas flag carrier M/V Diamond has seven decks and 400 cabins with a capacity of 836 passengers.

Built in 2001 in Germany, the ship is currently operated by the Asian Cruise Line Diamond Cruises with a base station in Shanghai, China.