Tourists arrivals in Ilocos region up


LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — Tourist arrivals in the Ilocos region rose 11.39 percent from 2,090,830 in 2016 to 2,359,744 in 2017.

Pangasinan had the highest share at 32.17 percent of the total number of visitors, who spent at least a night in the region; followed by Ilocos Norte with 27 percent; La Union with 24.13 percent; and Ilocos Sur with 16.17 percent, according to a Facebook post by the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) office in Ilocos last Thursday.

Based on the data from DOT 1 (Ilocos), visitor arrivals in Ilocos Sur increased 28.4 percent to 394,087 in 2017 from 282,156 in 2016. La Union’s tourist arrivals reached 569,388 in 2017, up 17.18 percent from 471,547 in 2016. In Ilocos Norte, 637,248 tourists visited the province last year, 12.87 percent more than the 555,176 tourists in 2016.

Pangasinan’s tourist arrivals, on the other hand, decreased from 781,951 in 2016 but the province was still the highest in the region with 759,021 visitors in 2017.

Tourists enjoy the seawater at the surfing town of San Juan in La Union. VA/NorthboundPH

Moreover, Ilocos Norte got the highest total of foreign visitors in 2017 with 56,253, while Pangasinan dominated the domestic tourist arrivals with 744,873.

The 2017 data were gathered until March 31, 2018, the deadline for the submission of the 2017 report on tourist arrivals in the region.

Meanwhile, Tourism Undersecretary Marco Bautista, during the Economic Development Meeting/Dialogue held here on April 17, disclosed that the DOT and the Department of Public Works and Highways convergence project has earmarked PHP3.3 billion for the Ilocos region for this year.

“The budget is for the construction of national roads, including barangay, and municipal/city roads heading to tourist destinations,” Bautista said. Hilda Austria/