A tourism center equipped with clean restrooms, a souvenir area, and a convenient ticketing booth for off-road riding and sand boarding will soon rise at the sand dunes of Paoay in Ilocos Norte province.
Funded by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), the proposed Paoay Tourism Center is expected to lure local and foreign tourists.
A stack of solar-powered stones and mirror installations are just among the latest attractions at the Paoay sand dunes that tourists could look forward to on their next visit to this northern gateway of Luzon.
Over the weekend, hundreds of festival-goers flocked to the Paoay sand dunes during the “Himala sa Buhangin” music and arts festival, an annual event organized by the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office as part of the provincial fiesta celebration in honor of La Virgen Milagrosa, patroness of the province.
“The presence of a tourism center in the area will ensure better management and professional service for our tourists,” said Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc in a media interview before he leaves for an official business trip to China on May 16-20, 2023.
The sand dunes of Suba, which offers a unique view of the West Philippine Sea, has been declared as a national geographical monument that expands from the borders of Currimao, Paoay, and La Paz in Laoag City.
Aside from various art installations inspired by famous films that were shot there, the area is also a popular destination for off-road vehicle riding and sand boarding, a recreational activity similar to snowboarding.
With the influx of tourists visiting the province, the Paoay sand dunes are among the major destinations being promoted by the provincial government to generate tourism jobs for the locals.
To date, the local government unit of Paoay and the Paoay Sand Dunes Cooperative are managing the operation of 4×4 rides as well as the safekeeping of the art installations. (PNA)