The 17th La Union Surfing Break will be held from Nov. 3 to 5 in the municipalities of San Juan, Bacnotan, and Luna to again promote sustainable and responsible tourism.
Assistant supervising tourism officer Julius Manabat, in a phone interview with the Philippine News Agency on Tuesday, said among the highlights of the event is the Journey with the Flippers, an information and education campaign to teach the public how to interact with the wildlife.
“We all know that the stretch of the coastal area of La Union is home to the pawikans (sea turtles). This is to inform tourists on how to keep our beach clean and safe not just for humans but also to the pawikans so they will not be disturbed as well,” he said.
Manabat said the municipality of Luna is the newest addition to the event since it is one of the emerging surfing sites in the province, while some local government units opted not to join to focus on their town festival.
Before the actual event, a surfing competition was held from Oct. 23 to 24 at Waves Point Urbiztondo in San Juan town.
The other activities for next month’s event include a beach clean-up drive, free surfing clinic, a surfboard painting competition, and concerts by local and national artists.
Although the event’s target tourists are young professionals, Manabat said they will be adding family-oriented activities to cater to more individuals.
Manabat said most of the festival’s participants in the past came from the National Capital Region, Calabarzon and MIMAROPA.
He said foot traffic recorded in last year’s event was at least 8,000 while tourists who stayed in accommodations reached up to 6,000 a day.
He said tourism receipts reached around PHP4 million based on the La Union Waters and Adventures Visit Hour Experience Survey.
“We are targeting to increase the tourist arrivals by five percent this year,” Manabat said, noting that the event is the peak of tourist arrivals in the province.
Meanwhile, he reminded the tourists to be very vigilant in booking accommodations.
“Look before you book. We will be publishing legit establishments and Department of Tourism-accredited establishments to prevent scam bookings,” he said, adding that law enforcers will be on hand to provide security during the entire Surfing Break season. (PNA)