LAOAG CITY – The province of Ilocos Norte continued to carve its place as one of the country’s premier tourist destinations after it recorded a total of PHP34 million in actual and potential sales in the Philippine Travel Mart held at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Sept. 1 to 3.
Tourism officer-in-charge Xavier Ruiz said in an interview Tuesday that Ilocos Norte logged actual sales of PHP10,060,041, surpassing last year’s PHP4.3 worth of sales from tour packages, accommodation bookings, airline tickets, and corporate bookings.
“Aside from sales in travel agencies, almost PHP100,000 worth of Ilocano food and non-food products were sold,” he said, adding that the province has also recorded potential sales for trip tickets, accommodation, tour packages, transportation rentals, and events, amounting to PHP24.2 million.
Actual sales involved upfront payment, while potential sales involved reservations with no payment yet.
Now running for 34 years, the Philippine Travel Mart, hosted by the Philippine Travel Operators Association, is the biggest and longest-running travel trade exhibition in the country.
This year, the travel mart featured nearly 200 exhibitors from all 17 regions, including the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
The Ilocos Norte booth featured the province’s key destinations and the famous Abel Iloco hand-woven cloth in honor of Magdalena Gamayo, a national living treasure from Pinili town who turned 99 on Aug. 13.
“Our diverse options for travel packages and the adventure that comes along with our province’s culture, food, and natural wonders enticed visitors,” said Ruiz.
Meanwhile, the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office is again organizing a night of music and fun dubbed “I Love Ilocos Norte Concert” at the Imelda Cultural Center in Batac City on Sept. 8, showcasing the province’s culture and heritage. (PNA)