News Release

PBBM inaugurates N. Luzon’s first ‘Tourist Rest Area’ in Ilocos Norte

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. inaugurated on Friday the “Tourist Rest Area” (TRA) in Saud, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.

The TRA is the first of its kind in Northern Luzon and is expected to attract more tourists in the Ilocos Region.

In his speech during the inauguration rites, President Marcos said the project is a good example of a whole-of-government approach to further develop the different sectors in government.

President Marcos said the government’s approach has extended to the whole-of-nation approach, allowing the private sector to join with government in all public endeavors.

“We do not see the success of this tourist area, the first one, without the cooperation of the different sectors.,” the President said as he recognized the contributions of the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and the local government unit (LGU).

Recalling his vision for Ilocos Norte, President Marcos, a former Ilocos governor, said he used to push not only for the development of the region’s agricultural sector but also the tourism industry that also boosted the country’s tourism.

He said the TRA will be a significant development for the country’s bid to become a tourism powerhouse in Asia.

TRAs in eight locations around the country have already been completed, inaugurated and turned over to the LGU as of April this year while the TRA site in Baguio City, which is undergoing development, is expected to be completed this month.

The eight TRAs are located in Roxas, Palawan; Medelin, Cebu; Carmen, Cebu; Carcar, Cebu; Moalboal, Cebu; Dauis, Bohol; Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon; and Island Garden City of Samal, Davao Del Norte.

At least 22 additional TRAs have been identified to serve local and foreign tourists travelling across the country. These are in Bulacan, Sultan Kudarat, Negros Occidental, Camarines Sur, Surigao Del Norte, Palawan, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, Albay, Batangas, Camarines Sur, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Mountain Province, Pangasinan, Batanes, Bohol, Tawi-Tawi, Misamis Oriental, Sulu, and Zamboanga.

The TRA in Ilocos Norte was launched in October 2022.

It aims to cater to traveling tourists to and from popular destinations in Pagudpud and its neighboring municipalities. It also serves as a venue to highlight Filipino artistry and identity and support the livelihood of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

President Marcos said the realization of the TRA manifests the significance of a vibrant relationship between the government and the private sector as he extended his gratitude to the people who made the project successful.

He acknowledged the efforts of Mayor Rafael Ralph Benemerito and Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Manotoc, DOT Secretary Christina Frasco and TIEZA.

President Marcos said the TRA is an important initiative for the government to transform the Philippines into a top tourist destination in Asia as he spelled out the government’s tourism plans for the Ilocos Region.

The President is confident the exciting developments for the Ilocos Region will become a “springboard” for the further success of tourism industry in the region and the Philippines. |PND