TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan (PIA) - - Tourism statistics show that Province of Isabela remains to be the favorite tourism destination in the Cagayan Valley region for the last three years.
The Department of Tourism regional office here reported that in terms of visitor arrivals, Isabela recorded a total number of 437,058 visitors in 2019 before the country was hit by the pandemic.
In 2020 and 2021, where the country was placed under restrictions, the province still managed to record 279,291 and 226,686 tourist arrivals, respectively – a number higher compared to the region’s other four provinces.
Regional Director Fanibeth Domingo said the abundance of the province’s agriculture has inspired 13 Isabela’s farm owners and managers to upgrade their DOT-accredited farm tourism sites.
With the upgrading, Domingo said it will eventually spell more income, job opportunities and more people appreciating agriculture as a way of life.
The tourism director also said that more road networks have already been constructed and rehabilitated including bypass roads to the delight of commuters who now experience shorter and safer travels to and from their destinations.
Ancillary facilities to the tourism industry like dairy farms, pasalubong and souvenir centers, resorts and sports tourism facilities, and others are also in place.
Isabela is known to be the ‘Queen Province of the Philippines’ and the largest province in terms of land area.
The tourism department here also noted that most of the province’s celebrations feature agriculture-based festivals to show the residents’ love for agriculture and tourism with Bambanti Festival as the mother of all the province’s festivals which is staged every January.
On the other hand, Troy Alexander G. Miano, provincial tourism officer, said the health pandemic did not hamper the province’s tourism industry as the local government ensured that the affected local industry workers got their share of the financial assistances from the national government to tide them over.
The province received from the national government, through the Department of Labor and Employment under its COVID 19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) a total of P2 million.
“We look forward to brighter and more vibrant tourism industry of the province in the years to come with the different tourism stakeholders now fully charged,” the provincial tourism officer said. (MDCT/With reports from DOT/PIA Cagayan)