The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) announced this week that Star Cruises, one of the biggest international cruise ship companies, has chosen Laoag (Ilocos Norte) one of their cruise destinations.
Xavier Ruiz, provincial tourism operations officer II, said that the Superstar Virgo’s destination in Ilocos Norte is a good news for our local tourism especially this coming summer season.
Superstar Virgo is a 13-storey ship that has 935 cabins and can accommodate 2,800 passengers and 1, 100 crew members. It also houses amenities such as outdoor swimming pool, 100-meter water slide, bar, gym, salon and spa, duty free shops and karaoke rooms.
From Manila, Superstar Virgo will dock at Currimao port where passengers are welcomed to visit tourist spots as well as historical and cultural landmarks in Ilocos Norte.
Ruiz said that the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO) is ‘expecting thousands of passengers to tour around our province for whole day, and we expect our local restaurants, souvenir shops and shopping centers to benefit from this.’
The cruiseship will sail from Hong Kong, Manila, Laoag, and Kaohsiung starting March 19 to May 23 which coincides with the summer season.
Ruiz said that the tourist arrivals last December totaled to 427, 819 which is 10.77% higher than the same period last 2015.
The windmills, lighthouse, Paoay Church Complex and the Blue Lagoon Resort in Pagudpud are the top destinations in the province.
Visit to the Ferdinand E. Marcos’ Presidential Center in Batac City decreased compared to the same period in 2015 as a result of the transfer and burial of the former president’s body at Libingan ng nga Bayani in Taguig City, Metro Manila. .—(Ma. RhonaY sabel B. Daoang, PGIN-CMO)