Ilocos Norte town limits tourist attractions to residents

Ilocos Norte town limits tourist attractions to residents

LAOAG CITY – The municipal government of Vintar in Ilocos Norte, known for its zipline and bikeline adventures, is temporarily keeping its eco-tourism facilities and attractions exclusive for residents to curb the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections.

Mayor Larisa Foronda said Tuesday the Umok ni Siwawer Eco-Tourism Nature Park and all other attractions in Vintar will be closed to guests from outside while contact tracing is ongoing after two new cases were confirmed in Barangays San Ramon and Cabangaran.

“We care for your safety and protection. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding on this matter,” she said in a statement, assuring they will accept non-residents as soon as the contact tracing has been completed and individuals who were tested are cleared.

Even if tourism facilities and attractions are open for residents, Foronda clarified that picnic cottages for rent along the Bislak River will be strictly regulated to 10 persons per cottage.

Authorities composed of members of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, village officials and watchmen will be deployed to ensure that minimum health and safety protocols are observed.

As host to the pioneering bike zipline in the Ilocos Region spanning some 230 meters, Vintar town has been drawing tourists until the pandemic shut down a number of businesses last year.

Since its opening in March 2019, the tourism office reported PHP1.2 million gross income.

“It would have been much higher as the figure was only for nine months of operation,” municipal tourism officer Erwin Suguitan said in an earlier interview.

The Vintar government reopened its eco-park for Ilocos Norte residents in August.

Ilocos Norte still has 219 active Covid-19 infections as of Sunday. Leilanie Adriano / PNA – northboundasia.com