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As cruise tourism returns, Ilocos Norte is getting ready.

As the Department of Tourism (DOT) began discussions with cruise line operators to once again explore stopping by this northern gateway of Luzon, travel operators in the province of Ilocos Norte can look forth to welcoming more tourists.

As stated by Xavier Ruiz, an officer in charge of the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office, “talks are in progress between cruise line operators and the DOT for their return at the ports of Currimao and a nearby private seaport of Omnico Resources Inc. in Badoc, Ilocos Norte.”

The DOT anticipates a total of 139 port calls at 46 locations around the nation in 2023. The number exceeds the 102 port calls made in 2019.

Prior to the pandemic, the ports of Ilocos Norte were important ports of call for foreign cruise ships, and cruise tourism began to take off in the region.

The Silver Spirit of Silversea Cruises, carrying about 500 people, berthed at the Salomague Port in Cabugao town, Ilocos Sur province, earlier this year. In the three years since the epidemic started, it was the first foreign cruise ship to dock at the Ilocos port.

Both the Salomague port in Ilocos Sur and the Currimao port in Ilocos Norte was upgraded in 2021 as part of the government’s plans for economic recovery in order to expand cruise calls in the area, which is strategically situated close to the well-known beaches and historical monuments of the Ilocos Region.

Local authorities expressed optimism that the upgraded port will draw more tourists and aid in the region’s economic revival in light of the ongoing expansion of the Vigan Airport and the Laoag International Airport as well as the road widening projects.

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