The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic confronted many of us to avoid public transportation.
Undeniably, people use public transit less or for some, not at all because of fear of getting infected. For those who are able, they would rather drive their four-wheels. But for some, they take advantage of biking or cycling as their mode of transport.
Aside from cycling as a fun activity, La Union has recently launched a program not only to aid the people in moving around efficiently but also empower them to help regain the tourism industry. Plus, they get to enjoy the nature too!
After a series of workshops and mapping activities to identify and develop potential sites for the bike and nature tourism circuits, the Provincial Government of La Union and the Department of Tourism launched Bike Tourism Project as part of the recently concluded Immersion Tour during the Region 1 Tourism Convention.
Launching of Bike Trails
The first leg of the launching was held at Eco Park in Agoo town featuring a bike trail suitable for beginners. It was participated in by over 300 bike enthusiasts.
The second leg of the launching was held in the Municipality of San Juan and the City of San Fernando which both feature trails suitable for amateur and professional bikers. The trail traverses the San Juan By-Pass Road going to ELYUnity Mountain Bike (MTB) Trails in Barangay Baraoas in San Fernando City.
Joseph Francisco Ortega, tourism regional director, said the development of bike trails is part of the recovery plan to boost local tourism in the region.
“This is the immediate need that we sought after. Hindi dahil magandang produkto ito, but it can be more inclusive doon sa makakatanggap ng trabaho,” Ortega explained.
He added that aside from establishing bike trails, the DOT also incorporated the conduct of training for community bike tour guides in local governments.
For his part, La Union Governor Francisco Emmanuel R. Ortega III thanked this partnership with the DOT with an aim to get the local economy back on track.
“I truly appreciate this initiative as I see it as one of the ways that our region can capitalize on sustainable economic development opportunities while maintaining good lifestyle," he said.
More bike trails identified
Other identified locations for the bike and nature trails in the province are found in the towns of Santo Tomas and Aringay in the South Tourism Circuit; Bacnotan and San Gabriel which also belong in the Central Tourism Circuit; Bauang, Naguilian and Bagulin of Central Eastern Tourism Circuit; Sudipen, Bangar and Santol of Northern Tourism Circuit; and Rosario and Tubao of the South Eastern Tourism Circuit.
With this feasible development and looking at its potential, bike tourism could be the next big thing in La Union! (JCR/JPD, PIA La Union)