Tourists flock to Ilocos

DUE TO SUMMER FESTIVALS

Hotels, resorts overcrowded

LINGAYEN – Thanks to festivals, Pangasinan is finally earning its share of improved domestic tourism in the region.

Department of Tourism Regional Director Martin Valera considers each day from April   to May in Region 1 as a holiday because of the festivals in many towns and cities.

The Ilocos region is now bursting at the seams with big number of tourists flocking to its various beaches and tourist spots from Pangasinan to Ilocos Norte.

Valera, interviewed by newsmen when he graced the ‘Pista’y Dayat’ (Sea Festival) in Lingayen organized by the provincial government under Gov. Victor Agbayani, said there are festivals practically everywhere in the region.

Aside from the festivals, he said, every province in the region has its own natural attractions that draw many visitors this summer.

“This is a peak season for tourists and we are glad that our properties (beach resorts) in Region 1 are getting 100 per cent occupancy,” he said.

The hotels have reported to the DOT that they are registering a 50 per cent increase in their occupancy over last year. More tourists are now spending their nights in the region although more people visit for a day’s trip.

Valera noted that not only the beaches in Pangasinan are full but also in La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.

He expects this momentum to continue till the rest of the year so the region can expect improved tourism receipts this year.

Valera said visitors to the beaches of Pangasinan are originating from Central Luzon, Metro Manila and the Cordilleras.

But when asked if the tourist facilities can measure up to the standards of foreign tourists, Valera said there are many facilities that are not yet of the international standard.

Even the Hundred Islands off the coast of Alaminos in Pangasinan has a big share of the tourism market in Pangasinan.

He said last Holy Week, a big number of tourists flocked to the Hundred Islands crowding three of the developed islands, Quezon, Governor’s and Children’s.

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