LAOAG CITY, Oct 23 (PIA) - After Ilocos Norte welcomed Luzon tourists on Oct. 15, Ilocos Sur along with other provinces in the Ilocos Region eye reopening their tourism very soon.
Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Singson announced opening their province to tourists starting Nov. 15.
"Other local government units are observing how Baguio City and the region are doing it, with how the tourist and triaging centers are in place, and in Department of Tourism (DOT) ensuring that accommodation establishments strictly abide with health and safety protocols and with these in place, people will be confident to travel again", Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
More than 30 travel and tour agencies from Baguio City and Region 1 joined the launching of the Ridge and Reef Travel Corridor in Ilocos Norte.
Part of the launching was the conduct of a benchmarking and a tour package simulation among identified tourism destinations in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur
"Through this benchmarking, the travel and tour agents can understand the full customer journey and properly incorporate travel essentials to maximize value for money and visitor experience satisfaction," Joseph Emmanuel Ortega, DOT-1 regional director, said.
In the Ridge and Reef Travel Corridor, pre-arranged and controlled tour packages offered to tourists for up to five days will be offered by DOT-accredited travel and tour agencies.
"Soon, hopefully by mid-November, we will be launching a regional visitor management system and online application which will manage and monitor tourist traffic in the provinces, also ensure the implementation and compliance of the health and safety protocols," Ortega said.
This will also provide quick information on tourist's attractions, facilities, and services and an online platform for convenient, fast, contactless registration and payment for tourists.
He added, "There will only be one application where you can register can be used wherever you go in the region which will eventually be adopted for registering Locally Stranded Individuals and Returning Overseas Workers."
During the launching, Sec. Romulo-Puyat also said that Tourist's One Stop Shop (TOSS) will soon be established, complementing a fast and seamless border check and control.
The TOSS will be composed of a shaded drive through kiosk serving as green lanes for tourists to which visitors can proceed with border controls at the comfort of their cars.
Included in the first phase of the Ridge and Reef Travel Corridor are the 12 towns of Ilocos Norte namely Badoc, Currimao, Paoay, Batac, Laoag City, Pasuquin, Burgos, Bangui, Pagudpud, Adams, Sarrat, and Vintar.
The tourist destinations of Bauang, San Juan, and San Gabriel in La Union; Vigan, Bantay, and Caoayan in Ilocos Sur; and Manaoag, Alaminos City, and Bolinao in Pangasinan are also part of the intra-corridor travel. (JCR/JPD/JDS, PIA Ilocos Norte)