ALAMINOS CITY, Pangasinan – The Hundred Islands National Park (HINP) here will host three international cruise ships in the first half of the year following the ease of restrictions to foreign tourist vessels in the country.
In a phone interview on Monday, city tourism officer Miguel Sison said the international cruise ships – MS Star Breeze, MS Minerva, and MS Seaborn Sojourn –are tentatively scheduled to arrive on April 2, May 10, and June 8.
Between 100 to 400 cruise ships are expected to avail of the HINP tour package, Sison said, as he expressed elation now that international ships are resuming their visits to the national park this year.
Sison said they have been preparing for the return of these cruise ships to showcase the beauty of the Hundred Islands as well as the different activities and products of the whole province of Pangasinan.
Aside from the arrival of cruise ships, the tourism office is also preparing for the upcoming Hundred Islands Festival where thousands of tourists are expected to flock for the Lenten break.
HINP has recorded 389,006 tourist arrivals from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022.
Of this number, Sison said 267,567 were domestic tourists, 118,459 were local tourists, and the rest were foreign tourists.
“The number of tourists increased since the restrictions were eased in 2022,” he said.
HINP generated at least PHP33.3 million in income in 2022, which surpassed its PHP25 million target last year.
Although the number of tourist arrivals has not yet fully returned to its pre-pandemic level of 520,000 in 2019, the number is already beyond the 93,000 visitors to the national park in 2020 and the 50,000 in 2021. (PNA)