Zambales tourism on track

IBA, Zambales — The provincial government reported that the tourism industry of Zambales has significantly bounced back with a record arrival for the first half of this year.

Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. disclosed that it was due to the waning Covid-19 pandemic era that the province recorded tourist arrival of 520,291, adding that this record has surpassed first semester records in the last three years.

Ebdane also urged local tourism establishments to step up and dish out more memorable experiences to visitors.

“Domestic tourists, mostly from Metro Manila, cannot get enough of Zambales attractions that range from mountain camps to seaside resorts,” said Ebdane. “We have everything that tourists would want — from waterfalls and rivers to beaches and islands. And they can enjoy all of these in relative safety and comfort even under the continuing pandemic.”

Data from the Zambales Provincial Tourism Office revealed that a total of 503,161 domestic visitors and 17,130 foreign tourists arrived in Zambales from January to June this year.

The biggest number of arrivals was recorded in the summer months, with 207,645 locals and 9,210 foreigners arriving in April, and 83,964 locals and 2,950 foreigners arriving in May.

“Most of the visitors come from Metro Manila with about 60 to 70 percent, followed by other provinces which account for 20 to 35 percent. The rest are residents of Zambales,” said ZPTO manager Tel Mora.

Mora also pointed out San Antonio town as the biggest local tourism draw among the 13 municipalities in the province. San Antonio, which is popular as a surfing spot, attracted a total of 171,801 visitors in the first half of the year, with 160,628 domestic visitors and 11,173 foreigners.

The next top attractions are the towns of San Narciso, with 70,194 arrivals; Subic, with 64,070; Iba, with 43,113; and San Felipe, with 33,793.

Mora said visitors were drawn mostly to these towns because of clean beaches, available adventure sports facilities, and comfortable but affordable accommodation.

Tourism, with the local resort industry at the forefront, has traditionally provided significant local revenue for Zambales, which has one of the longest coastlines in the country and is hosting hundreds of restaurants and hotels that rely on their seaside location to attract business.

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