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Following the March 14 maiden voyage of Silver Shadow cruise ship at the Currimao seaport, the development of cruise industry is slowly starting with more and more interested travelers wanting to experience cruising the Asia Pacific seas.

Tour operators and small and medium entrepreneurs in the province also share the same excitement as this would mean additional income for them.

To promote Ilocos Norte’s best products, some government-assisted small and medium entrepreneurs are allowed to display some of their products at the Currimao seaport to make them more accessible to cruise line passengers.

Local tour operators are also active in promoting their promo packages as they are making a strong presence in social media to further increase their reach.

Members of the Philippine Ports Authority and other tourism stakeholders warmly welcomed on Tuesday the arrival of Silversea Cruises’ Silver Shadow, ferrying hundreds of Chinese passengers.

Given a limited time to explore Ilocos Norte’s major tourist destinations, some of the passengers visited famous tourism landmarks in Laoag, Batac and Paoay in Ilocos Norte and the new wonder city of Vigan in neighboring Ilocos Sur province. Passengers arrived at the Currimao port in the early morning and left in the afternoon.

A bigger Superstar Virgo of Star Cruises with an estimated 2,800 passengers will also dock at the Currimao seaport on March 20. The ship is en route to Laoag, Hongkong and Taiwan.

With this development, Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa Marcos keeps on encouraging investors to come to Ilocos Norte and partner with the government to sustain economic growth.

“We are inviting investors,” said Marcos, citing Ilocos Norte is five times the land area of Singapore and three times the area of Hong Kong with 85 percent belonging to the government and awaiting development from willing investors.

The entry of cruise lines in Ilocos Norte was made easy as the province sits 400 kilometers from China, and is also in close vicinity to Taiwan, Korea, and Japan, all major international markets.

“Our infrastructure is built and ready for business,” she added, “we have an educated, motivated, and loyal workforce.” (PNA) LAP/LGA/EDS
Photo Credit: facebook.com/juansanmaanne