NINE million tourists visited the province of Pangasinan last year, according to the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office.
In a forum on April 11, Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Officer Ma. Luisa Elduayan said seven million of the tourists mostly visited the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag.
Elduayan said other most visited spots in Pangasinan are the Provincial Capitol buildings in Lingayen, where conventions and meetings and other occasions are usually held; the Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos City; Surip Beach in Bani town and other beaches in the western part of the province; the Balungao Hilltop Adventures; Sunflower Garden in Tayug town; and the Maranum Falls and Skyplaza in Natividad.
“Some tourists go here for culinary experience too since we have delicacies like bangus of Dagupan City, puto in Calasiao, tapa in Mangaldan, and many more,” she added.
Elduayan also cited a recent study on the spending of tourists conducted by the Department of Tourism (DOT) in the province involving some towns and cities, indicating that they spend more than P900 million in the province during their visit.
She noted the 2018 data were only based from the towns and cities in the province that implemented the registration system used by the DOT.
Meanwhile, Elduayan said the province this year focuses on sports and farm tourism.
“We have been partnering with private companies to bring beach games in the province specifically the Lingayen beach since it has long-flat beach suitable for all types of beach games,” she said.
Philippine Beach Games will be hosted anew by the province, alongside the celebration of Pistay Dayat 2019 (Sea Festival) on May 25-26.
Elduayan added that farm tourism is also booming in the province, with seven farm sites already accredited by the DOT.
“These are learning sites and the farm sites also offer experience of farm life. We have in Mangatarem, Villasis, Balungao, and San Fabian, among others,” she said.
Elduayan also invited devotees this Holy Week, as Pangasinan offers pilgrim sites such as the old churches besides the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag, and Mt. Zion in Bugallon, Skyplaza in Natividad and Surip Beach in Bani. (PNA)