The Department of Tourism (DOT) shall execute Bicycle tours, motorbiking, and other outdoor activities to encourage local tourism in the Ilocos Region as part of their recovery plan.
"Region 1 holds so much potential to appeal to tourists under the new normal, given its abundance in nature sites. That is why we are very excited to launch the tourism recovery plan that will introduce new and exciting activities that will provide additional opportunities for the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Region. I encourage our kababayans to please travel and support locals while observing the necessary health and safety protocols," Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat stressed.
During her three-day visit to Pangasinan, Puyat explained that in the DOT’s latest domestic travel survey, tourists are now looking to incorporate outdoor activities like hiking and biking in their leisure travel.
With the shift of the local tourism preferences, the DOT is compelled on developing new biking and motorbiking trails in Region 1, such as the Find the One Bike Tour and Motorismo, with trails coursing through the provinces of Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur.
In addition to strengthening the DOT's implementation of health and safety guidelines for tourism establishments, the regional office has already accredited 61 Level 1 Surf Instructors through the Academy of Surf Instructors Philippines (ASI). This will uplift the standards of surfing lessons in the Region’s popular surf spots.
Other tourism recovery initiatives of the DOT in Region 1 include the Marian Pilgrimage Tour, specialized training for Inabel textile weavers in Ilocos Sur; the Eastern, Western, and Central Pangasinan Tourism Circuit; Bird Watching Tourism Circuit in Ilocos Norte; and the development of eco/nature trails in La Union.
Puyat also highlighted the Tara Na! app, a travel request, and a contact tracing system funded by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).
According to Puyat, the app is the product of a collaborative effort between the LGUs and the DOT to unify the Region's border controls and serve as a green lane for tourists coming into the Region.
She also unveiled plans to restore and transform the historical Casa Real in Pangasinan—into the Province’s first museum that will enable both locals and tourists to appreciate the rich history of Pangasinan.
To fund the restoration of Casa Real, Puyat said that the DOT through the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), an attached agency of the DOT, provided Php 50 million for the project.