ZAMBOANGA CITY – The easing of restrictions on coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) health protocols is paving the way for the revival of the tourism industry in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez, the Department of Tourism-Zamboanga Peninsula director, said the agency has so far recorded 30,401 local and 12 foreign tourist arrivals since January this year.

In an interview Friday, Rodriguez said the local tourists are from other provinces and regions who visited the different tourist attractions here in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

On the other hand, the foreign tourists include Asian, European, and American nationals, she added.

In this city, most tourists visited the Sta. Cruz Island, which is known for its pink sand beaches, the Onse Islas (11 Islands), and Yakan village.

In other parts of the region, the tourists also traveled to the Gloria Fantasy Land and Dakak Park and Beach Resort in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte;  and the Rock Diving Resort in Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte.

“The Zamboanga Peninsula has a lot to offer, and we have for the different types of travelers. We like them to enjoy and experience the beauty of ZamPen (Zamboanga Peninsula),”  Rodriguez said.

Currently, the cities of Zamboanga and Dapitan are among the areas in the region that are under Alert Level 1 restriction, which allows mass gatherings and entry with vaccination as the only requirement.

The tourism industry was one of the most affected sectors at the height of the pandemic. (PNA)