Pagudpud opens doors amid pandemic

October 5, 2021

While the end of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic is still nowhere in sight, tourist destinations in the Philippines are already taking steps to slowly recover from the adverse effects of the pandemic.

One of the country’s stunning tourist destinations – Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte – is already gearing up to squirm away from the pandemic’s grip as it commences the opening of its tourist destinations.

The provincial government of Ilocos Norte has finally allowed leisure travel for all its residents without age restrictions, provided they all adhere to health and safety protocols.
To entice local tourists, several accommodation facilities and restaurants in Pagudpud are currently offering up to 25 percent discount on all room rates with free breakfast to local tourists who will book this month.

All residents from the towns of Adams, Bacarra, Badoc, Banna, Carasi, Currimao, Dingras, Dumalneg, Nueva Era, Pagudpud, Paoay, Pasuquin, Piddig, Pinili, San Nicolas, Sarrat, Solsona and Vintar may now go out for leisure travel as these areas are under general community quarantine (GCQ).

The cities of Laoag and Batac, and the towns of Bangui, Burgos, and Marcos, however, remain under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), the second most restrictive quarantine classification.

“I hope Laoag will be under GCQ soon because it’s where the market is,” said Nelly Cristobal, president of the Federated Hotels and Resorts of Pagudpud Inc. and owner of Casa Victoria resort in Saud, Pagudpud town.

She is eager to welcome tourists in Saud beach, touted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

For the safety of tourists, some 73 accommodation establishments in Pagudpud town have secured a special permit to operate under the new normal.

Personnel from the Department of Tourism (DoT) and the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office conducted a thorough inspection on these facilities before they could safely open again.

“The beach is so beautiful but not everyone of us can enjoy,” said Cristobal who looks forward to welcoming more visitors when the coronavirus situation is put under control.

Due to the surge of infections in the past two months, tourist attractions in the province had to close.

As per DoT guidelines, all parks and recreational spaces in GCQ areas are subject to the 50 percent venue capacity.

Like in most parts of the country, local tourism industry remains to be the hardest hit by the pandemic with an estimated P17.8 billion in losses due to travel restrictions in the province.

A bright spot, however, is that the province has been awarded the World Travel and Tourism Council safe travels stamp for its adoption of globally recognized health and safety protocols during the pandemic.

The safe travels stamp is the world’s first safety and hygiene stamp for travelers to recognize governments and businesses that implement global health standardized guidelines.