All systems go for Ilocos Sur tourism reopening

BAGUIO CITY β€” Ilocos Sur tourism officer Michael Ryan Astom said the province is ready for the October 1 launching of the Ridge and Reef (RnR) Travel Corridor.

He said individuals wanting to visit the heritage province could start booking for their accommodations.

Tourists can visit sites in Vigan City and five other towns. Destinations in the Seven Wonder City include Baluarte, Calle Crisologo, Syquia Mansion, and Ilocos Sur Dancing Fountain located in Plaza Salcedo. Meanwhile, the Pinakbet Farm in Caoayan, the Caniaw Heritage and Forest Park, and the Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone will also open for travelers.

Tourists missing the beach may visit Ichtus Beach Resort in Magsingal, Santiago Cove, Biak-na-Bato, and Vitalis Villas in Santiago. They can also try nature trek at the Pinsal Falls or climb the steps of Nuestra SeΓ±ora dela Asuncion Church, both located in Santa Maria.

According to Astom, tourists can enter any time after October 1 as long as they have complete requirements. However, this is only open for individuals coming from Baguio and Region 1.

Tourists would need to adhere to the RnR Technical Working Group’s unified guidelines from booking, travel, and local tour.

Registration for the travel and accommodation is through the Online Visitors Registration System (OVRS) of the
province.

“We are using Safepass as of now, [Department of Tourism Region 1] will provide a unified online registration, which is still under development. The regional director said they are working to make it operational by October 15, hopefully,” explained Astom.

Travelers are also required to get tested for COVID-19. Border control personnel will ask them to present results taken 24 to 48 hours before travel.

DOT-accredited tour agencies will offer tour packages. They will arrange for the trips and tours in coordination with the DOT and local tourism offices’ assistance. They will only be allowed to go to establishments authorized by the DOT and those they declared in their travel itinerary.

They must also secure the necessary documents such as identification cards, travel authority, medical certificate, and accomplished health declaration form.

The number of allowed tourists will be initially limited to 50, subject to regular review.

Last September 1, Baguio City and Region 1 provinces signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to reopen tourism. The RnR Travel Corridor is the result of the agreement. The project aims to jumps start tourism activities and related livelihoods in the area. ●