MANILA, Philippines – The forthcoming completion of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) is bound to boost domestic tourism and travel to Northern Luzon and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) to unprecedented levels, according to the Department of Tourism and its marketing arm, Tourism Promotions Board.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo said TPLEX as an extension of the North Luzon Expressway could spawn the rise of eastward and westward road networks to make various destinations in the Ilocos region accessible while shortening the travel time to Baguio City and the rest of the CAR.

Citing a report from the Department of Public Works and Highways, Teo said the recent opening of the exits in Pangasinan (Rosales, Urdaneta and Binalonan) from Tarlac City showed at least 20,000 vehicles benefitting daily from TPLEX.

“That means the completion of the northernmost terminal in Rosario, La Union by yearend or early 2018 will open up to the access routes to Ilocos Norte and Sur, shorten the travel time to heritage sites and other attractions along the northern segment of our western coast and up the mountains of the Cordilleras, and increase visitor traffic for the entire north Philippines altogether,” Teo said, citing the Duterte administration’s vigorous infrastructure buildup to push national economic growth and expansion.

Teo noted that the public-private partnership projects for infrastructure approved by President Duterte in his first three months amounted to P223.5 billion compared with the measly P43.4 billion in all of the first three years of the previous administration.

Pointing out the massive infrastructure buildup nationwide, Teo said: “We can expect a similar uptrend in domestic tourism as travel now becomes a part of the Filipino lifestyle, especially among the millennials in the BPO (business process outsourcing) industry.”

She said an emerging convergence could be observed in the country’s three dollar-generating industries – tourism, BPOs and exports.

“The BPOs are becoming a catalyst of domestic tourism because of their digital access and critical mass, while our export enterprises at the communities are becoming travel attractions themselves,” Teo said.

04 April 2017