VIGAN CITY - Some 1.4 million local and foreign tourists visited this heritage city in 2017, data from the city tourism office showed.
Based on the informal count, this figure is a 27.8 percent increase from 2016 arrivals, recorded at nearly 1.1 million.
The city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is among the country's most popular tourist destinations, known for its well-preserved Spanish-era architecture.
“Pag tinitingnan namin 'yung difference ng 2015 at 2016, 'yung 2015 kasi namin is 700,000, kung titingnan mo talaga 'yun aabot kami ng 1.4 million tourists for 2017. Sa ngayon, kino-collate pa ng City Tourism Office ang mga datos from establishments like hotels at mga tourist spots natin,” said Edred Piamonte, city events, promotion and protocol officer.
He said the visit of Miss Universe 2016 candidates for their Filipiniana Fashion Show in January last year gave the city's tourism sector a boost.
Social media has also served as an effective tool to promote the city, Piamonte said.
“We are very visible sa aming Facebook account, Twitter and Instagram. 'Yun ang isa naming platform kasi ang mga millennials diyan na umaasa,” he said.
Officials expect the number of tourists to double this year because of the celebration of Ilocos Sur's bicentennial as a province next month, Piamonte said.
The annual Palarong Pambansa will also be held in Ilocos Sur in April.