Ilocos Norte vies for best tourism-oriented LGU

LAOAG CITY — Showcasing Ilocos Norte’s vibrant tourism industry, the province of Ilocos Norte presented its bid on Friday (Sept. 22) as the “Best Tourism-Oriented Local Government Unit” in the country.

Aianree Raquel, provincial tourism chief, said a panel presentation was held at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in Metro Manila to present the tourism highlights of Ilocos Norte in 2016 which serves as basis for the final evaluation.

Raquel said Ilocos Norte has been shortlisted as one of the three provinces in the entire country to compete in the national award category.

Represented by local officials and selected tourism stakeholders here, Raquel said Ilocos Norte has a better chance to win the award this year as it placed first runner-up to Negros Occidental in 2016.

In partnership with the Department of Tourism, the Best Tourism Practices Awards was launched in 2005 by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) and the DOT Pearl Awards 2017.

The initiative seeks to recognize the efforts made by the people in the tourism industry, most especially the LGUs.

Over the last six years under the administration of Gov. Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos, tourism stakeholders here attest to the province’s transformation in terms of massive tourism infrastructure development.

In 2012, the provincial government launched its Paoay Kumakaway! Tourism campaign. This paved the way for local job generation as thousands of foreign and local tourists visited Ilocos Norte’s major tourism landmarks.

Raquel added Ilocos Norte’s entry this year highlights the continuing efforts and programs of the provincial government to sustain the influx of tourists so that they will keep on coming back here.

As the largest job-generating industry in Ilocos Norte, tourism-related activities have recorded over 20,000 jobs annually.

Through public-private partnership, there is also a continuing refurbishment and development of new tourism facilities and sites and construction of access roads to ensure inclusive growth.

The awarding is set on the first week of October in time for the 18th national convention of ATOP in Iloilo City.

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