LAOAG CITY, ILOCOS NORTE—Tourist arrivals in Ilocos Norte province continued to pick up in 2023, with over 3.5 million day visitors going to the province’s attractions, latest data from the Ilocos Norte tourism office (Into) showed.
In a statement on Friday, the provincial government said there were more tourists who went to the province in 2023 as compared to the previous year (2,734,848 tourists), with the increase pegged at around 30.47 percent.
“The province experienced a significant increase in arrivals, propelling tourism receipts up to P8.9 billion,” the provincial government said.
Of the total arrivals, more than half, or 52 percent, was tagged by the provincial government as “returning visitors.”
Tourist arrivals based on accommodations also surged in 2023 with 513,280 visitors, or an increase of 24.42 percent compared to 2022.
The increase in arrivals in the province was said to be an indication that the industry, which is one of the primary drivers of economic growth in Ilocos Norte, had bounced back from losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic that struck in March 2020, which led to travel and movement restrictions that lasted until the early months of 2022.
“This growth in tourism underscores the resilience and enduring appeal of Ilocos Norte as a premier destination in the Philippines,” according to Into.
International visitors also rose in the province in 2023, with a 51-percent increase from 2022. The provincial government did not provide corresponding figures for the recorded tourist visitors but said that they came from the United States of America, Canada, Europe and India, according to data from Into.
Increase in flights from the country’s capital and Cebu to Ilocos Norte also contributed to the rise of tourist arrivals in the province in 2023, as 67 percent of the visitors arrived in the province through air transportation, said Into.
In 2023, the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation in Burgos town was the most visited tourist attraction in the province, followed by the white sand and crystal-clear beaches in Balaoi, Pagudpud, and the Malacañang of the North in Paoay town. INQ