Ilocos Norte has reopened to tourists again following the recent downgrading of the province’s community quarantine classification.
This time, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN), through the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO), advocates for a “safer and stronger” resumption of tourism services as it braces for a significant influx of travelers this holiday season.
The quarantine classification of Ilocos Norte has been eased to “General Community Quarantine” from September 24 to 30, under which the operation of outdoor tourist attractions is allowed.
“As we move forward safer and stronger, we promise to take our guests’ trip to a better level. The pandemic didn’t hinder us in our commitment to provide an A+ travel experience to our visitors. If not, it even pushed us to strive harder and be better.
Our guests’ and our local communities’ health and safety are our priority. We only ask our guests to follow these steps for hassle-free and responsible travel: registration at ilocosnorte.ph, QR code from SafePass, and a Negative COVID-19 test.” Mr. Xavier R. Ruiz, Officer-in-Charge of the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office, elaborated.
PGIN guarantees that the presence of safety nets for stakeholders in the industry, specifically the establishment of a tourists’ triage, the regular conduct of hotel inspections, and the effort to prioritize tourism workers in vaccine rollout, will ensure the welfare of locals and visitors alike.
Through the vaccination program of PGIN against COVID-19, 82.36% of primary tourism workers have already been vaccinated. Of those, 20.08% have already received their first dose while 62.28% have been fully immunized.
INTO has recorded almost 45,000-day visitors, including locals, at attractions from October 1, 2020, to July 2021. Meanwhile, an estimated 3600 tourists have visited the province since October last year. INTO likewise recorded the highest monthly arrival of tourists from outside Ilocos Norte in June this year, with nearly 1,200.
Moreover, INTO’s partial data shows that there were almost 67,000 accommodation occupancy, including APORs and local staycations, from October 1, 2020 to August 2021.
Meanwhile, PGIN has been preparing for the launching of the “I’m IN LUv Fair,” in partnership with the Provincial Government of La Union (PGLU) this October. The fair, which will be held here and in La Union, is a part of the “I’m IN LUv” tourism campaign, a partnership between PGIN and PGLU that aims to guarantee the safety of both tourists and industry workers while spurring economic activity amidst the pandemic.
Recently, Ilocos Norte became the first province in the Philippines to be awarded with the World Travel and Tourism Council Safe Travels Stamp for its adoption of globally recognized health and safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.－Edison Justin B. Deus, PGIN-CMO