Some 442,387 tourists, both local and foreign, visited the famous Hundred Islands National Park (HINP) here from January to August this year, according to the City Tourism Office (CTO).
City tourism officer Miguel Sison, in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Monday, said tourist arrival in the city this year is still higher than last year’s, despite the slight effect of the onslaught of the southwest monsoon and weather disturbances since July this year.
CTO recorded 435,661 visitors from January to August in 2017, of which 14,065 were foreign tourists.
“On the positive side, due to the weather disturbances, the islands were able to rest after the peak season last summer,” he said.
Sison noted that weather disturbances and gale warnings remain a challenge for the park since it is located in the natural sea of the Lingayen Gulf.
To prepare for the peak season, Sison said they’re adding restrooms and other amenities in the park to improve the quality experience of the guests.
Another cruise ship from a European country with 400 passengers will sail to the islands on December, he said.
Aside from the main islands, the CTO also improved the Lucap Wharf, which is the boarding area before going to the islands.
“We have placed benches, which were donated by private citizens including businessmen, as we also beautified the place. By October, the start of our peak season, live bands will play at the entertainment center, while a private establishment will be opening a disco and karaoke television (KTV) area. With a lot of investors putting up transients and hotels around the area, we also wanted to offer ‘night life’ to our tourists in addition to the island visit,” Sison said.
The city government has already earned PHP33.4 million from HINP this year, and it hopes to surpass the total income of PHP42 million of the tourist spots last year, he said.
Besides island hopping, the HINP also offers zip-lining, jet skiing, banana boat, helmet diving, kayaking and snorkelling at affordable prices, he added. (PNA)