LAOAG CITY, July 31 (PNA) –Ilocos Norte’s tourism promotion program “Paoay Kumakaway” boosted the industry of the province as gleaned from increased visitor arrivals last year which continued till the first semester of 2013.
Launched on March 1, 2011, “Paoay Kumakaway” was institutionalized by the provincial government through the initiative of Governor Imee Marcos to promote Ilocos Norte’s various beautiful and historical places and delicious food products to tourists and visitors.
A consolidated 2012 visitor’s arrival survey report released by the Department of Tourism (DOT)in Region 1 last March 30 showed a marked improvement of foreigner’s arrival pegged at 121.60% overwhelming increase as compared to the 2011 annual report.
The 2012 visitor’s arrival report in the province was gathered from all hotels in Laoag and Batac cities and in the towns of San Nicolas, Paoay, Currimao, Pasuquin and Pagudpud.
Based on the annual survey reports during the past two years; there were 11,792 foreigners – visitors from 44 countries who visited the province in 2012 as compared to only 5,331 foreign visitors’ arrival from 41 countries worldwide in 2011.
Of the 44 nations – origins of foreign visitors to the province in 2012, the North American nations specifically Canada and U.S.A had the highest number of arrivals at 2,512; followed by the East Asian nations to include China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan at 2,503 arrivals.
Significant increase of foreigners’ arrival was also observed from the nations in Europe, Middle East, Pacific Region, Africa and Asia.
In the domestic tourists’ arrival, it was reported that a total of 200,848 local visitors came to the province in 2012 or an increase of 3.5% against the 194,006 in 2011.
In totality, however, it showed a significant increase of the visitors’ arrival to the province with 6.5 % or 212, 952 in 2012 as compared to the 199, 892 in 2011.
Based on records from the Public Employment and Services Office (PESO), the influx of visitors to the province from July 2012 to July 2013 had generated at least 21,620 jobs for the residents.
Provincial Tourism Officer Ian Ree Raquel attributed this development to their massive all- out campaign “Paoay Kumakaway” tourism promotion in the province.
PDS/LVM/FREDDIE G. LAZARO/RMA