Ilocos Norte to accept tourists from Luzon

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Ilocos Norte will reopen to tourists from Luzon starting next week.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she was “elated” by the decision of Gov. Matthew Marcos-Manotoc to accept visitors from Luzon even those from areas under general community quarantine or GCQ.

Puyat said visitors would be required to present a negative swab test result released within 48 hours prior to their arrival in the province.

She said the Department of Tourism (DOT) would assist the provincial government in receiving at least 50 people a day using a system similar to Baguio City’s Visitor Information and Travel Assistance or VISITA platform.

Puyat said the DOT would ensure that necessary health and safety protocols are strictly enforced in tourist sites, hotels and other related establishments to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019.

She said 208 hotels and resorts in Ilocos Norte were issued certificates of authority.

Meanwhile, Pangasinan is preparing for the reopening of its tourist sites in support of the Ridge and Reef travel corridor of the DOT.

DOT-Ilocos regional director Jeff Ortega said they are working on a universal website, which is also similar to Baguio City’s VISITA, for pre-registration and pre-booking in various tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants.

Bolinao, Dasol, Manaoag, Sual and Alaminos City reopened to tourists from Ilocos region while Anda, Burgos and Dagupan City accepted visitors from other areas in Pangasinan starting Aug. 1.

The provincial tourism office said they have also received inquiries from residents of Metro Manila and Central Luzon.

In Baguio City, tourism operations officer Aloysius Magpalo said they received 179 travel requests while 1,701 account registrations were made under their VISITA platform as of Friday.

Magpalo said more than 40 travel requests from residents of Region 1 until December have been approved.

Baguio reopened to visitors from Ilocos on Oct. 1. The city accepts only 200 visitors per day for guided tours.

In Laguna, the Enchanted Kingdom in Sta. Rosa City will open this month, Mayor Arlene Arcillas said.

”Definitely it will reopen before its anniversary on Oct. 25... Lahat pwedeng pumunta but we will set protocols,”Arcillas said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.  – Catherine Talavera, Ralph Edwin Villanueva, Eva Visperas, Artemio Dumlao, Emmanuel Tupas

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