La Union hosts Region 1 Tourism Convention

La Union hosts Region 1 Tourism Convention

(Below left photo)DOT-1 Regional Director Joseph Francisco Ortega and the four provincial tourism officers in Region 1 engage with local media in a press conference organized by the Philippine Information Agency on Nov. 18, 2021.  (Below right photo) DOT Asst. Secretary Woodrow Macquiling, Jr. and DOT-1 Regional Director Joseph Francisco lead the opening of the bike trail at Agoo Eco Park on Nov. 19, 2021. Photos by: (JPD)

By Joanne Namnama Dilim

SAN FERNANDO CITY, Nov. 23 (PIA) — The province of La Union hosted this year’s Region 1 Tourism Convention organized by the Department of Tourism Regional Office 1 (DOT-1) in partnership with all four provincial governments.

Various activities from Nov.18 to Nov. 20 provided an avenue for tourism practitioners and stakeholders to exchange ideas, discuss issues and challenges in the industry while strengthening their cooperation towards the development, promotion and sustainability of tourism in the region.

“Ito ang paraan natin to speak with our provincial tourism officers and our governors with regards to what has happened in the pandemic and what we can do to move forward,” DOT-1 Regional Director Joseph Francisco Ortega said.

The opening day featured the launching of the Find the One in Region 1 Travel Fair in the surfing town of San Juan, La Union that exhibited the unique and diverse products and new sites and destinations of each province in the region.

“This is a sign of friendship between all the provinces and the DOT as we slowly start tourism once again,” Ortega said.

Also highlighting the three-day convention was the launching of two bike trails in the region. One of which is at San Fabian Biker’s Den in San Fabian, Pangasinan while the other one is at the Agoo Eco Park in Agoo, La Union.

The tourism 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,” said Ortega.

He added that aside from establishing bike trails, the DOT also incorporated the conduct of training for community bike tour guides in local government units.

In general, Ortega assured that tourism in the region is “alive and kicking.”

“With regards to tourism, huwag kayong mawawalan ng pag-asa. Hindi po tayo susuko hanggang magbukas uli ang turismo Nandito po tayo sa mega ng surfing in the north. Kung nakikita niyo po dito that we are still fighting to open tourism to our doors, we should do the same thing with other tourist destinations,” he said.

However, he reminded the public to continue complying with the minimum public health standards even after Region 1 has been classified under Alert Level 2 because “the virus is still here.”

“Ibig sabihin, Region 1 is now open for travel but we have to be strict with our safety protocols. Let us try to work with each other to ensure the safe and responsible travel of tourists coming in Region 1,” he said. (JCR/JPD, PIA La Union)