Tourism is already an important driver of the Province of La Union visitor economy. However, one of the municipalities  of the province that lagged behind the tourism industry is the Municipality of Aringay. However, in the 2017, there is an influx of visitors to the town accounting from a 120% increase from 20116. This is a very good sign despite the limited tourism products the town can offer.

Now that the Province of La Union had focused on tourism as one of the major sector in its progressive economy, Aringay, is not alone in identifying tourism as an important future driver of economic activity. La Union has focused on circuit tourism and agri-tourism as it centerpiece. The Municipality of Aringay is also focused on developing circuit tourism with Agri-tourism its core program as well as developing culture and heritage as part of its tourism offerings.

The achievement of the economic potentials of tourism is the central point of this plan.  The Aringay Tourism Plan for 2019-2025 identifies for the Municipality to reach its expenditure potentials with concentration in five priority action areas:

1.Driving demand
2.Working better together
3.Supporting what we have
4.Increasing the recognition of the value of tourism
5.Using events to grow visitation

Recognizing the need to provide a supportive environment for the tourism industry’s growth, an additional two areas have been identified as areas to influence:
1.The total cost of doing business
2.Investment in public infrastructure


The Strategic Tourism Development Plan of the Municipality of Aringay 2019- 2025 outlines the overall strategy that will guide project implementation and policy development for the industry. The plan is focused on achieving Aringay’s tourism industry full potential of visitor expenditure and would generate 3,000 additional direct jobs in Aringay’s economy.

This plan is a holistic approach for all of the tourism industry of the municipality, from solo operators right through major businesses, associations and all levels of local government. It takes the broadest possible scope, recognizing many type of businesses that are part of the visitor experience.

Strategic priorities are identified that are triggers for lasting growth, job creation and visitation across all barangays of Aringay. It defines a clear set of actions, allowing efforts to be coordinated and resources to be focused on the essential elements that will make a difference.

This Plan will provide the foundations for:
1. A profitable flourishing tourism industry that is widely recognized as a core part of Aringay economy.
2. A significant job provider contributing to the growth of resilient, vibrant and sustainable communities across the Municipality, supporting social, cultural and environmental outcomes as well as economic.
3. The tourism experiences generated should have a wide seasonal appeal, deliver authentic experiences and create strong word of mouth marketing and repeat visitation resulting in greater investment and reinvestment in the right kind of tourism products targeting the visitor market.
4. Consumers to have a clear understanding of our competitive advantage and the depth and diversity of our experiences. They will have a high desire to visit in the near future. This desire is readily and easily facilitated by the Municipality of Aringay tourism industry’s capacity to inform them of the best options for their visit and to manage visitor bookings.
5. Stakeholders in tourism to have a good understanding of their role, connections and relationships with each other and more widely across varied sectors in the economy. A strong collaborative approach helps achieve agreed priorities.
6. Successful implementation of the strategic priorities in this Plan will create flow on effects and impact many other aspects and tasks needed to ensure a quality visitor experience. Hence this Plan does not include a list of all actions required in destination management planning across the Municipality of Aringay.

Led by the Municipal Tourism Culture and the Arts Council of Aringay and coordinated by the planning team of the Aringay Tourism Office , the Strategic Tourism Development Plan of the Municipality of Aringay from 2019-2025 incorporates the voices of more than 100 tourism industry stakeholders, elected leaders and non-government personnel. The plan was shaped not only by these insights, gathered in more than 20 listening sessions and meetings conducted by the MTCAC and via public pulse on a public website but also on extensive readings and analysis of the experiences of the different towns and provinces, both in the Philippines and internationally. In-depth researches on different municipalities which had almost the same category and limitations in tourism were also studied so as to learn the strategies used to have a progressive tourism industry.

Initial findings were compiled into a State of Tourism Report for the Municipality and slowly a Comprehensive Tourism Plan and Roadmap for the municipality came about. Since the province used the tourism circuit planning approach in developing tourism packages and products, the Municipality adopted this approach in proposing tourism packages for the municipality. A tourist Circuit is defined as a route on which at least three major tourist destinations are located such that none of these are in the same town, village or city. At the same time they are not separated by a long distance. It should have well defined entry and exit points. A tourist who enters at the entry point should get motivated to visit all the places identified on the circuit. The objective of having a tourist circuit is to increase the total number of visits to all the destinations on the circuit on the one hand and to provide to the tourist the attractions of all the destinations located on the circuit.

Each identified cluster was analyzed using the 6As of tourism development using literature reviews, researches, consultations with industry stakeholders in the public and private sectors as well as site observation into the field. Apart for these, meetings, discussions, and three workshops were done to crystalize the concept of Aringay circuit tourism.

Tourism cluster maps were then prepared identifying the tourism destination or attraction, the major infrastructures to be developed and identification of accommodation facilities and other tourism components. In relation to that, the list of initiatives and identification of priority projects for each initiative including existing and pipeline Local and National Government projects on tourism and local economic development were prepared. For such priority initiatives, support from government agencies, provincial, city and municipal governments were identified.

Apart from the provincial planning workshops and writeshops and cascading sessions, the Municipality of Aringay conducted its own planning workshop with strategic initiative teams, component barangays and key industry players.


This SWOT Analysis study has been done in a combined (survey-descriptive and analytical) method. To analyze data and provide strategies of tourism development in the Municipality of Aringay, SWOT analytical method has been used. Research population consists of 40 people, 24 of whom came from the private and business sector and the remaining 16 are government employees.

The goal of tourism development is not only the improvement of economic opportunities, but the promotion of social organizing, preserving indigenous (local) heritage, culture and customs, and services and facilities along with the environment protection are also considered. Aringay does not offer much strength in terms of tourism but it has a lot of  social and cultural potentials that among them the appropriate geographical situation, closeness to crowded centers, longer months with good weather, plant cover, rivers and the seascape are the advantages of this locale. It is obvious that one of the important ways to develop tourism industry in this region is to identify more the studied area and precise planning to measure the feasibility of this region in terms of the power of attracting tourist and to create various promenades and infrastructural facilities.

Findings indicated the following:

1.Good geographical location
2.Supportive municipal administration
3.Increasing number of visitors
4.Mystical and mythical past adds to the tourism lure
5.Increase interest in sustainable tourism and environmental issues
6.Beautiful climate
7.Media and movie personalities who had huge following can endorse the town
8.Town is the gateway to the Ilocos and Cordilleras

1.Poor tourism thrust
2.Poor branding
3.Poor town identity
4.Poor data statistics
5.Lack of annual reports
6.Boring municipality
7.Lack of intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizational coordination
8.Lack of investments
9.Lack of resources
10.Unbalanced growth
11.Variable community support
12.Lack of training for human resources
13.Reduction of social and family integration

1.Diversity of tourism products to explore and invest in
2.Incentives for private investment
3.Create a more lasting branding and image
4.Promote uniqueness of the town
5.Increase in the use of global technology
6.Appropriate customized tourism plan for the town
7.Increasing government attention to planning
8.Improving living standards
9.Improving road networks and development

1.Centralized decision making
2.Lack of tourism training
3.Change in Political leadership
4.Lack of tourism voice in planning and policy
5.Changing of objectives in the middle of the project
6.Tougher competition for other markets and marketing approaches
7.Falling quality of natural resources and attraction

Finally, the SWOT matrix of strategies of development in terms of opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses are presented below based on 4 strategies, i.e. WO, ST, SO and WT.
A.Offensive/competitive strategies (SO)
In the offensive/competitive strategies that focus on internal strengths and external opportunities, the following strategies to exploit existing advantages to develop tourism in the municipality of Aringay is presented:
1.Supporting the private sector to invest in tourism industry in Aringay through loan facilities and government incentives.
2.Emphasis on local tourism development due to the relative advantages of this type of tourism development in the municipality.
3.Increasing the recreational opportunities for attracting tourists in Aringay
4.Identification, enhancement and improvement of the existing tourists attractions and other relative tourist advantage of Aringay to be marketed as a unique tourist destination.

B.Strategies of variety (ST)
In diversification strategies that focus on the internal strengths and external threats, the following strategies are presented to provide some requirements of the Municipality of Aringay in order to meet the threats:
1.The development and diversification of the ways of access to major population centers for their convenient access to attractions of this region.
2.Diversifying tourism facilities and services in order to meet tourists satisfaction and increasing the number of tourists through the creation of a pleasant and convenient environment.
3.Determining the optimal population density in visiting this area in order to protect and prevent environmental degradation and vulnerability of environment.

C.Revising strategies (WO)
In the revising strategies emphasizing on the internal weaknesses, we try to take advantage of external opportunities to address weaknesses facing this tourist region.
a.) Doing serious actions by the various institutions for revitalization and development of the Municipality of Aringay and in line with the rate of popular participation in the development of tourism in the province of La Union.
b.) Rational utilization of institutions, supporting ordinances, rules and regulations to develop and equip the infrastructures, various tourist facilities and equipment in Aringay congruent with revising the type and way of planning and government support to the municipality.

D.Defensive strategies (WT)
In this strategy, in addition to emphasis on removing the vulnerability of the studied area, the following strategies are provided:
1.Training of personnel how to deal with tourists in order to prevent damage and loss of the area of attraction.
2.Using the private sector participation in areas where people cannot participate or invest.
3.Increasing the participation of suitable residential places for tourism accommodation.
4.Developing specific rules and regulations for optimal use of attractions and tourism products.

According to theoretical resources of the research and field studies, in order to provide strategies of tourism development using SWOT techniques, the tourist capacities and limitations in the studied area were identified and practical responses and strategies for tourism development were presented. By such description, the obtained results can be presented in both qualitative and quantitative aspects:

The qualitative results of each of the identified internal and external factors indicate that:
1.)The level of vulnerability of the studied area in terms of tourism development is high.
2.) Based on the level of threats and limitation of opportunities, the needs of this region in terms of being a tourist region are enormous.
3.)The distribution and allocation of resources in the Municipality of Aringay due to the limited opportunities and high weaknesses are necessary.

The study of the quantitative results of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats,  shows that:
a.)Among the strengths in the studied area, the component of landscapes and tourist attractions for tourist is considered as the most important advantage of tourism development that in order to do optimum use of this component, the appropriate designing of each region is emphasized to show that region more beautiful.
b.)Among the weaknesses, the component of the weak propagation for identifying attractions is a priority that as the factor of limiting the tourism should be removed and improved by local participation and also participation of private and public sectors.
c.)Among the external opportunities, the component of increasing employment is a priority and the created opportunities for this area can be used to create more employment.
d.)Among the external threats, the component of weak tourism management is considered as the most important external threat for tourists that to reduce it, the defensive strategies have been proposed.
Overall, according to what was mentioned we can say if the tourism is going to reach sustainability and play a positive role in development of the studied area, the requirements of the determination and development of certain strategies, improvement of local participation, strong and clear rules and regulations, sustainable marketing and planning are realistic.


1.To  propel the tourism sector as a key engine of growth.
2.To  enhance the visibility of Aringay as an alternative tourist destination in traditional, emerging and new markets.
3.To  broaden the tourism product portfolio to include eco-tourism, agri-tourism, cultural tourism, and genealogical tourism.
4.To  promote Aringay as a clean and safe tourist destination.

ARINGAY is a unique destination of outstanding seascape and countryside  recognized for creativity, authentic experiences and hospitality of its people.

•AGPAKAUNA – We are the leader in uniqueness and creativity
•AGPANGATO – We soar high and give you the best and authentic Aringay service
•AGPATULOY – We continually improve and are persistent in achieving the best
•AGKUKUYOG – We foster teamwork and value mutual trust
•AGRANIAG – We are bright, and we aim to be the brightest

New Pillars, New Directions
The Mission reflects the industry’s critical role in promoting Aringay while expanding a mix of products and experiences through circuiting of different barangays. This is to promote reasonable and responsible use of valuable municipal resources.

To help achieve this vision and mission, the plan used the core values of the municipality to be the five strategic pillars that serve to organize the objectives, strategies and tactics as well as indicators of success, outcome and how to monitor the implementation and success of the programs. The five pillars are as follows:

Agpakauna (Leadship) – strengthening of  Aringay’s  tourism leadership structure to attain leadership status and resiliency in the tourism industry.
Agpangato (Upward) – aims to define and expand the traditional role of destination marketing.  In order to soar high and therefore lead, we must be able to create new products, new attractions and new destinations.
Agpatuloy (Continuity) – this was inspired by heartfelt concerns that in order for tourism project to felt and redound to the people, it should be sustainable and have continuity.
Agkukuyog (Unity) – the power of tourism progress is through its people. We must be able to communicate to the people the benefits of tourism and the economic progress and lifestyle benefits derived from it.
Agraniag (Brightness) – In order to maintain the radiance of tourism, the municipality should be able to protect the integrity of Aringay resources through sustainable tourism. In order to maintain its competitive status, it must be able to develop new resources and foster an advocacy program to promote tourism in the municipality, province, region and the country.

The essence of this roadmap is communicated through its Vision, Mission and Pillars.


This Proposed Tourism Plan for the Municipality of Aringay is a result of a painstaking workshop followed by discussions done last April 18, 2018 at the Municipal Office Conference Hall on its very first day of revitalization of the Municipal Tourism Culture and the Arts Council. This Plan is presented with key facts and recommendations so as to be easily understood by any reader and thus a “Raniag Aringay” can be visualized with this plan. The facts are simple but they govern the approaches that our municipality should take in order to recognize the opportunities and limitations and best develop its assets.

Every location is unique in its own. They have their own community vibes and feeling. It is this distinctiveness that differentiate it from other communities. But this inimitability cannot be used to conclude that tourists will come and flock to the town. We have to take advantage of the opportunities why existing tourists come to the municipality and thus present more active possibilities to attract more.

Six tourism circuits are proposed in this plan to be developed as tourism products of the municipality.
1.Southern Cluster
Berlin, Alaska to Dulao, Bibleland Chapel and Station of the Cross, Sto. Cristo Shrine, LUELCO Forest Park, Nagpanawan
Activities: Sightseeing, Religious, Hiking

2.Central Cluster
Salapac Tunnel , Regional Training Center, Anacleto Diaz Sr. Ancestral House, St. Lucy Church, Public Plaza, Don Agaton Yaranon Memorial Park, ACES Gabaldon Building, Old Train Station
Activities: Sightseeing, Heritage Walk

3.Western Cluster
Samara Mangrove Reservation Park , Samara seascape, Samara Lagoon, Samara Fields, Paradiso Beach Resort
Activities: Sightseeing, beach activities, swimming, food

4.Northern Cluster
Regional Training Center, Old Notre Dame, Aringay Market, Aringay Cemeteries, Kimmallugong Mountain , Aringay side
Activities: Sightseeing, heritage walk, buying spree, Hiking

5.South Eastern Cluster
Bubon Posi Trail, Mushroom Farm, Jireh Mountain Resort, San Simon East Waterfalls, Pangaoaoan West Forest Park, Pangaoaoan East Demo Farm
Activities: Hiking, Agro-demo farm exposure, Sightseeing
6.Eastern Cluster
Basca Banana Plantation, Gallano Rice Terraces, Manga Softbroom Making, Macabato Sangbay Falls, San Antonio River walk and rafting
Activities: Agro-demo farm exposure, sightseeing, hiking and rafting


The South Tourism Circuit is known as CASA. This is composed of 4 adjacent towns Caba, Aringay, Sto. Tomas and Agoo. A tourist Circuit is defined as a route on which at least three major tourist destinations are located such that none of these are in the same town, village or city. At the same time they are not separated by a long distance. It should have well defined entry and exit points. A tourist who enters at the entry point should get motivated to visit all the places identified on the circuit. The objective of having a tourist circuit is to increase the total number of visits to all the destinations on the circuit on the one hand and to provide to the tourist the attractions of all the destinations located on the circuit.

Raniag Aringay is a future-filled theme for the town. It looks at the brightness of the future. And the future is through tourism because of the many tourism potentials of the town. Our initiatives should therefore keep beauty and brightness at their core and always keep the brand Raniag Aringay. If we are to develop new physical assets, attractions, signage, streetscapes, centers or parks or festivals, we must rally to the concept of “Raniag Aringay”.

There is always a debate whether the town should start promoting what little it has or wait for the day that it is market ready. There is a question whether to start projects that are available now while a medium-term to a long-term plan is being drafted by the MTCAC for the administration. Simply put, tourists will not come if there are no tourism products that are being promoted. Entrepreneurs will not develop products without a market. The market won’t come without a product. The responsibility of the government is to help develop the products so that the market will come. The following are the recommendations that have been put forward for product development and marketing direction.
The following are the recommendations :
1. Develop a Visitor Information Bureau or a Welcome Tourist Office.
2. Adoption of direction from the Aringay Beautification Plan.
3. Establish partnership with tourism stakeholders, business groups, in-province tourism groups, out-province tourism groups, heritage societies, civil society groups in line of promoting tourism.
4. Develop niche promotional materials targeting out-of province visitors already coming to the province.
5. Implement a master plan for the development of the town center as a gateway to the Aringay coast and a gateway to the eastern trail including Baguio City and other parts of the Cordillera.
6. Further develop simple physical assets that promote tourism while beautifying the town in a unique and aesthetically pleasing manner conforming to the brand, “Raniag Aringay.”
7. Develop circuit tourism in the municipality and in the province
8. Formulate a Heritage Plan
9. Formulate a park development Program
10. Further develop water-based activities like kayaking, boating, water races and surfing for beginners
11. Develop agri-tourism activities
12. Develop a comprehensive electronic and media communications strategy
13. Develop a meaningful festival that will truly represent the ideals, culture and history of the town
14. Develop a brand, catchy slogan, icon and logo for the municipality
15. Create a Municipal Tourism Office with Municipal Tourism Officer or create a Municipal Tourism Officer position to support implementing the Tourism Development Strategy.