La Union posts tourism recovery

La Union posts tourism recovery

LA UNION tourism has gained momentum since the pandemic, welcoming 550,359 tourists in 2023, marking an 11-percent increase from the previous year’s 494,387, the provincial government said on Monday.

Governor Raphaelle Veronica “Rafy” Ortega-David hailed the upswing, attributing it to tourists rebounding from the pandemic slump. The figures, based on overnight visitors reported by local tourism offices to the Department of Tourism, do not include tourists passing through. The influx also fueled a 16% rise in tourism revenue, reaching over P1 billion in 2023 from P897 million in 2022.

Of the visitors, 6,450 were international tourists, and 543,909 were domestic. April saw the highest arrival rate, with 68,567 visitors.

Urbiztondo beach in San Juan topped the list with 257,559 day visitors, followed by Namacpacan Church in Luna town and Macho Temple in the City of San Fernando.

Other attractions included Tangadan Falls, Bauang’s grape farms, Baluarte Watch Tower, and private-owned destinations like Halo-Halo De Iloko and Pugo Adventure.

A visitor satisfaction survey, La Union Wonders and Adventure, revealed a 57% repeat visitor rate. Most tourists came from Manila, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Governor Ortega-David expressed gratitude for the province’s growth and pledged to position La Union as the Heart of Agri-Tourism in Northern Luzon by 2025.

The positive news coincides with La Union’s 174th Foundation Anniversary celebration, promising exciting activities for locals and tourists alike on March 2. — Artemio A. Dumlao