This province’s tourism and economy stand to benefit from its hosting of the World Surf League (WSL) International Pro at Urbiztondo Beach, to be attended by some 250 professional surfers from the Philippines and abroad on Jan. 22 to 28.
Provincial Information Officer Rowan Joshua Dimaculangan, in an interview on Friday, said this is the second year in a row that La Union is hosting the WSL.
This year’s event is specifically for the International Pro Qualifying Series and Long Board Tour.
He said the provincial government has partnered with the United Philippines Surfing Association, municipality of San Juan, Department of Tourism, and other stakeholders for the sports event.
Filipino surfers will be challenged by representatives of France, Indonesia, Japan, Sweden, Taiwan and Thailand.
The opening ceremony on Jan. 22 will be held at Flotsam and Jetsam Artist Beach Hostel here.
“It is an honor for us as it looks like La Union is a very viable destination for this activity, viable for economic growth and to be visited by international tourists,” Dimaculangan said.
The Provincial Tourism Office recorded 17,976 tourists during the WSL on Jan. 20 to 26, 2023.
Dimaculangan said the more than 200 accommodation establishments in San Juan town were fully booked during last year’s event, with some tourists spilling over to neighboring town Bacnotan and San Fernando City.
“Restaurants were also full at that time and we are expecting the same or more for this year’s competition,” he said.
The provincial government also assured peace and order during the international competition, with the coordination of the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies as well as the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Dimaculangan said they hope the competition would make La Union a “partner and destination” for international tournaments, citing other tourist destinations and activities such as the Tangadan Falls, grape-picking and historical architectural sites. (PNA)