Day tourist arrivals in Ilocos Norte rise 43.53% during Holy Week

Ilocos Norte’s tourism industry received a boost as visitor arrivals and reservations for Holy Week increased by 43.53%, signaling a revival in the industry, which is a main driver of economic growth in the province.

According to the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO), day visitors during Holy Week in 2023 increased by 43.53% compared to the same period in 2022. The data also reveals an 81.28% increase in tourist arrivals compared to 2019.

The top tourist destinations this year were the San Agustin Church in Paoay, followed by the Madongan Dam in Dingras; the Bangui Windmill; the Karpurpurawan Rock Formation in Burgos; St. John the Baptist in Badoc; Malacañang of the North in Paoay; the La Milagrosa Cove and Chapel, also in Badoc; Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos; the Blue Lagoon Resort in Pagudpud; and Paoay Sand Dunes.

To prepare for the high influx of tourists during Holy Week, INTO deployed tourist ambassadors, who received training on first-aid response, and tourist police officers throughout the major and minor attractions in the province. Over 200 trained locals were also on hand to assist visitors and ensure that the areas were clean and well-maintained.

Xavier Ruiz, the Senior Tourism Operations Officer of INTO, expressed his satisfaction with the strong Holy Week turnout, stating that reports from stakeholders and local businesses claimed that it was the strongest Holy Week yet, even surpassing pre-pandemic years. Big hotels and small-sized properties were at full capacity, indicating a record-breaking income for many businesses in the province.

Nelly Cristobal, the owner of the Casa Victoria Resort and Restaurant in Pagudpud, said that this year’s Holy Week was lively and bustling. “We were fully booked from April 4 until April 9 to the point that we were unable to accommodate walk-ins. This is the first time I have ever seen such a large number of tourists, even surpassing the pre-pandemic years.” She also mentioned that their establishment had a record-breaking income during the Holy Week. Meanwhile, the Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel in Laoag City, the largest hotel in the province, was also fully booked.

Ruiz also added that the provincial government, along with other departments and partner agencies, made sure to prepare for the high influx of tourist arrival during Holy Week.

Aian Raquel, the Provincial Tourism Officer, thanked and congratulated all the local government units and their partners for a successful turnout of the Holy Week in the province.

Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc’s administration considers new programs and partnerships to include Ilocos Norte among the premier tourist destinations in the country as a priority. The tourism industry supports the livelihoods of thousands of Ilokanos.

The provincial government continues to strive to maintain its success in the local tourism industry’s recovery by ensuring tourists are safe and have a meaningful stay in the province.

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