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Vigan eyes use of old houses for tourist accommodation
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: -
Date: 2005-07-08
VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur A citywide rehabilitation of old private houses in this Heritage City in the North for possible conversion into homestay facilities for domestic and international tourists will soon begin, Mayor Ferdinand Medina disclosed recently.

He said the idea is double purpose: to enable city residents to earn extra income from operating homestay facilities and at the same time bolster economic activities from travel and tourism industry.

Aside from the existing various tourism sites in this city, Mayor Medina wanted to develop other dilapidated infrastructures with historical values to lure foreign and local tourists.

During the past 10 years, thousands of tourists have visited this city, dubbed as the "Intramuros of the North" due to its centuries-old houses, its old streets depicting the early years when the Spaniards occupied the country and put up their seat of power here.

Citing the ticketing system in Hoi An, Vietnam, Mayor Medina, with the help of his wife, Eva Marie who had been a mayor of this city for nine long years, will put up a foundation which would be the one in charge for the said development of old and deteriorating houses.

He said that these historical private houses, once developed, would be utilized and can then be rented by tourists who want to stay for days in the city, saying this is cheaper than staying in hotels. Medina pointed out, however, that hotels are also affordable but said that there are some tourists who really prefer to stay in the old houses to feel the ambiance and environment of Vigan.

"This will certainly ignite the economic growth of the city aside from solving the problems of the dilapidated, historical houses," pointed out Medina, adding they are now studying the 75 - 25 percent sharing of the income from the private houses that the foundation is going to develop and rehabilitate.

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