Some 2,359,744 tourists visited the Ilocos region in 2017, an 11.39-percent increase from the 2,090,830 in 2016, the Department of Tourism’s regional office said.
The DOT Region 1 said Pangasinan had the most visitors who spent at least a night in the area at 32.17 percent.
Ilocos Norte had 27 percent; La Union had 24.13 percent; and Ilocos Sur had 16.17 percent, it said (http://northboundasia.com/2018/04/21/tourists-arrivals-in-ilocos-region-up/).
The 2017 data was gathered until March 31, 2018, the deadline for the submission of the 2017 report on tourist arrivals in the region.
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, 17.18 percent higher than the 471,547 in 2016.
Meanwhile, Ilocos Norte had 637,248 tourists in 2017, more than the 555,176 tourists in 2016.
But Pangasinan’s tourist arrivals fell from 781,951 in 2016. Still, it was the highest in the region with 759,021 visitors in 2017.
On the other hand, Ilocos Norte got the highest total of foreign visitors in 2017 with 56,253, while Pangasinan had the most domestic tourist arrivals with 744,873.
DOT Undersecretary Marco Bautista said the DOT and the Department of Public Works and Highways convergence project earmarked P3.3 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.