LAOAG CITY – The provinces of Ilocos Norte and La Union have partnered in reviving each other’s ailing tourism industry amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
From October 8 to 10, a travel and trade fair will be held at the Robinson’s Place Ilocos, Alfresco Area to promote popular tourist destinations of both provinces.
The fair dubbed “I’m IN LUv Travel and Trade Fair” aims to share Ilocos Norte and La Union’s best practices for safe travel in the face of a global pandemic.
In getting to Ilocos Norte, Xavier Ruiz, officer-in-charge of the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office, said Monday tourists only need to register online, get a unique SafePass code and present a negative coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test result.
The province of Ilocos Norte has resumed accepting tourists since September 24, with almost a hundred registered visitors up to this date.
Most of these tourists are heading to the province’s beautiful beaches, particularly in Pagudpud town.
“With health and safety protocols in place, we promise to take your adventure to a whole new level,” said Ruiz, as he expressed optimism that more people will regain their confidence to travel again.
With La Union’s strategic location, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc earlier said tourists may consider a stopover in La Union before heading to Ilocos Norte and vice versa.
As part of the plan, joint events and trade shows can be jointly organized to benefit both parties including enticing sports water enthusiasts to try the surfing areas in San Juan, La Union as well as in Pagudpud and Badoc in Ilocos Norte.
Since the start of the pandemic, many resort and restaurant owners in both provinces have shut operations and only a few are just starting to open up for tourists again.