The number of tourist arrivals in the province of Aurora reached over 650,000 in the first half of this year.
Data from the Aurora Tourism Office showed that a total of 653,054 tourists visited the province from January to June, an indication that the province’s tourism industry is on its way to recovery from the impact of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
The top tourist destinations in the province are the towns of Dipaculao, Baler, Dingalan, and Maria Aurora.
The report was based on the data supplied by the municipal tourism offices of the province’s eight towns, namely Baler, Casiguran, Dilasag, Dinalungan, Dingalan, Dipaculao, Maria Aurora, and San Luis.
Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Chriselle May Yambao said on Thursday the Department of Tourism in Central Luzon (DOT-3) is also rebranding Aurora to include dive, surfing, trekking and wellness sites to attract more tourists.
“This is a very unique type of product development wherein we pair up activities and not only concentrate on only one activity. Aurora is very rich in natural resources with its mountains and seas,” Yambao said in a radio interview.
So far, she said among the selected dive sites in the province for freediving are the Barangay Dibutunan Marine Protected Area (MPA), Digisit MPA, and Dicasalarin.
Other dive sites will also be opened once the local government unit (LGU) guidelines have been set.
Yambao said locals will also be trained and certified as freediving guides to ensure the safety of divers visiting the province.
In terms of wellness activities, she said Aurora is an ideal place for meditation and yoga because of its beautiful natural scenery.
“We are hoping that this going to be alternative activities in Aurora, aside from surfing which the province is known for,” Yambao added.