IN: Top in tourist arrival

Tourist arrival in Region I has hit almost a million in 2013, the big chunk accounts for domestic tourists.

Regional Director Martin Valera of the Department of Tourism said domestic tourists reached 850,129 while foreign travelers were only at 55,759 for the entire region last year.

Valera said tourist arrival in Region I grows by 10 percent yearly and with Pangasinan having the most number of arrivals last year.

“Because of the big number of domestic tourists, local authorities may look into implementing activities to entice more locals to hop from one place to another,” Valera said during the Region I Tourism Convention held at the Stadia, this city on Friday.

Most tourists listed ‘visiting friends’ and ‘leisure’ as the top reasons for travelling based on the survey, he added.

The arrival of foreign and domestic tourists in 2013 per province is broken down as follows: Ilocos Norte -327,855 tourists with an average length of stay at 1.30 days; Ilocos Sur -142,614 with length of stay at 1.25 days; La Union – 166,920 with length of stay at 1.30 days and Pangasinan – 268,499 with length of stay at 1.09 day.

To boost tourism in a place, Valera said the market product analysis recommends prioritizing nine tourism products towards enriching the tourist experience and boosting product diversification.

These nine tourism components are: nature; culture; sun and beach; events; health, wellness and retirement; leisure and entertainment; cruise and nautical; diving and marine sports; and education.

The DOT hopes to bank on these tourism components and study the factors that will affect tourism for 2015 namely: the regional economy, prices, number of holidays, competitiveness of regional destinations, low cost carriers and level of access to infrastructure, he said. (MCA/VHS/PIA-1Pangasinan)