By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, Sept. 28 (PNA) — A tourism official is urging entrepreneurs to invest in additional restaurants for fine dining, hotels, inns, and resorts in Pangasinan in the Ilocos Region.
Department of Tourism-Ilocos (DOT-I) regional director Martin Valera said this is to take advantage of the benefits now being given by the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway or TPLEx.
Valera pointed out that Pangasinan is the biggest beneficiary of TPLEx, commercial-wise and tourism-wise, more than what it can do to the provinces of Tarlac and La Union.
He cited the Matutina Restaurant in Urdaneta City as an example since it is always full of diners who are stop over on their way to Baguio or going back to Manila to have their fill in the said restaurant.
Data from DOT-I showed among all the four provinces in the Ilocos Region, Pangasinan acquired the most number of tourist arrivals with 396,006 in 2014. Pangasinan was followed by Ilocos Norte (373,006), La Union (220,278), and Ilocos Sur (156,098).
Pangasinan is also the province with the highest growth rate at 47.49 percent, followed by La Union (31.97 percent), Ilocos Norte (13.77 percent), and Ilocos Sur (9.45 percent).
TPLEx is currently undergoing the last phase of the construction of its exit, which will be placed at the mouth of Kennon Road and Marcos Highway in La Union.
The project, which aims to shorten travel time from Metro Manila to Baguio City from seven to three and a half hours, is set to be completed next year. (PNA)