More local and foreign tourists are coming to Ilocos Norte, resulting in a 30.47-percent jump in tourist arrivals in 2023, provincial tourism data released on Friday showed.
“In 2023, Ilocos Norte experienced a remarkable surge in tourism, with arrivals surpassing those of 2022. The province experienced a significant increase in arrivals, propelling tourism receipts up to PHP8.9 billion,” Xavier Ruiz, officer-in charge of the Ilocos Norte Tourism, said in a statement.
Day visitor arrivals, measured based on attractions, saw an increase to almost 3.6 million, while tourist arrivals based on accommodations soared to more than 500,000, the highest since the pandemic.
Among the province’s most visited attractions include the Kapurpurawan White Rock Formation in Burgos town, followed by the crystal clear waters of Barangay Balaoi in Pagudpud and the Malacañang of the North in Suba, Paoay town.
The 2023 tourism data also recorded a notable number of returning visitors at 52 percent and foreign visitors at 51 percent increase.
With more flights to the province, air travel also increased by 67 percent.
Due to numerous activities during the holiday season and in preparation for the Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals slated on Feb. 16, Ruiz said it took them a while to collect tourism data from stakeholders.
“This growth in tourism underscores the resilience and enduring appeal of Ilocos Norte as a premier destination in the Philippines. As the province looks ahead, it remains dedicated to sustaining this momentum and enhancing visitor experience while continuing to provide meaningful opportunities for Ilocanos,” he added.
For this year, the provincial government has a conservative tourist arrivals target of 300,000. (Leilanie Adriano)
(Source: Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte)