PTCAO is a department under the Provincial Government of Pangasinan, mandated to be the primary planning, programming, coordinating, and implementing office in the development and promotion of the tourism industry and the various cultural affairs concerns in the province in accordance with R.A. 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009.
Starting as a division of the Office of the Governor in 2002, the Pangasinan Provincial Tourism & Cultural Affairs Office was eventually institutionalized as a department in 2015 thru the Provincial Ordinance no. 184-2014.
Owing to Pangasinan’s abundant natural and cultural heritage and the promise of socio-economic growth in the tourism industry, the provincial government identified tourism development and promotion and cultural preservation as a major development thrust. More than ever, the continuing influx of tourists and the need to establish sustainable tourism development push the provincial government to provide the necessary organizational and developmental framework. The province then declares tourism as a product and service-oriented industry that could generate employment, income, and investments to the people and to the province as it impacts the social growth and cultural affirmation of everyone.
Pangasinan is the Philippines’ No. 1 coastal and country destination.
To develop and promote responsible tourism in Pangasinan that maximizes socio-economic growth in communities, instills pride in heritage, conserves the environment, and foster a vibrant partnership among stakeholders towards meaningful tourist experiences and the best quality of life of Pangasinenses.
a. Formulation of policies, conceptualization and implementation of plans, programs and projects in tourism and product development and promotions;
b. Supervision of various cultural affairs that promotes the cultural heritage growth of the province;
c. Coordination with LGUs and national government agencies for the integration of the provincial tourism and cultural agenda thru development plans;
d. Development and conceptualization of new products, tourism projects and investment opportunities that will enhance tourist sites, facilities and services;
e. Supervision of provincial government tourism-related facilities;
f Monitors standards and accreditation of tourism-related establishments and services;
g. Formulation and implementation of an integrated tourism marketing and promotions campaign;
h. Institutionalization of community participation; and
i. Networking and linkages
Structure and Divisions of the Department
1. Technical Support Services Division
2. Cultural Affairs and Events Division
3. Tourism Services and Promotions Division
4. Administrative and General Services Division
5. Capitol Resort Hotel
Programs and Services
1. Tourism Product Development and Enhancement
a. Development of Tourism Clusters. (Planning for development of infrastructure, facilities and destinations); Financial Assistance to LGUs to support festivals and events; Technical Assistance to LGUs to develop tour circuits; CLUP review and the tourism agenda; Development of new tour packages.
b. Standards and Accreditation Campaign. Monitoring and Evaluation of Tourism Enterprises and Tourist Attractions. c. Market Research; Regular Generation of Statistical Data from Accommodation Establishments, Tourist Attractions and MICE facilities (recording and reporting)
2.Sustainable Tourism thru Natural and Cultural Heritage
a. Special Projects for Pangasinan Historical & Cultural Commission.
b. Pangasinan Museum Project
c. Secretariat Services for Center for Pangasinan Studies
d. Cultural Mapping
e. Special Events. Planning and organizing of provincial-led events; Special Event Assistance for provincial-supported activities; Reservation/management of provincial MICE facilities (Sison Auditorium and Provincial Training and Development Center)
3. Tourism/Cultural Human Resources Development
a. Capability Building Activities for Tourism Stakeholders/ Cultural Workers
b. Institutional Support and Incentives Program for tourism /cultural organizations
4. Tourism Promotions and Information Services
a. Implementation of marketing and promotions campaign; Media tour and assistance; publication of promotional materials, website and social media.
b. Regular Tourist Assistance Program. Tour coordination services; Tour guiding services; Tourist assistance desk services.
c. Coordination and Linkages
The Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office offers various tourism services designed to assist Pangasinenses and local & domestic tourists to enjoy their visit to the province. Technical assistance and support services may also be availed by local government units and the private sector. This is in line with the provincial government’s thrust to raise the level of awareness and appreciation of Pangasinenses for their rich natural and cultural heritage and to promote Pangasinan tourism to local, domestic and foreign tourists.
1. Provision of Tourism, Culture and Arts Information/ Data
2. Tour Guiding Services
3. Reservation Services (Sison Auditorium and Pangasinan Training & Development Center)
4. Capitol Tourist Assistance and Pasalubong Center
5. Special Events Organizing or Assistance
The third biggest province in the whole Philippine Archipelago, derived its name from salt or “asin” in the vernacular. Owing to the rich and fine salt beds which were the prime source of livelihood for the province’s coastal towns, PanagASINan or “Pangasinan” which means “where salt is made” came to be its name.
The province is crescent-shaped and occupies 536,818 hectares of land area which constitutes almost one-half (41.8%) of the total land area of Region 1 and 1.8% of the total area of the Philippines. Composed of 4 cities and 44 municipalities, it is bounded on the north by the Lingayen Gulf, La Union and Benguet, on the north-east by Nueva Vizcaya, on the east by Nueva Ecija, on the south by Tarlac, and on the west by Zambales and the China Sea.
Owing to its diverse cultural heritage rooted in centuries of glorious history and a way of life that is a delightful combination of tradition, innovation and creativity, the warm, polite, hospitable, hard-working and fun loving 2.65 million Pangasinenses (2007 census) enjoy the best of Provincial Philippines where you find both the familiar and unfamiliar world, abreast with modern technological times, but with a preserved vast panorama of outstanding natural beauty and unique attractions.
Pangasinan boasts of stretches of white, sandy beaches, verdant hills, scenic terrains, caves, waterfalls, ancient Hispanic churches, miraculous destinations for devotees, a vast coastline for fishing, water sports or leisurely walking along the Lingayen beach where one can get a glimpse of the world-famous Philippine sunset.
Being a gateway of sorts, the province is house to major and minor telecommunication companies, bus and transport services, regional and local publications, radio stations, television networks , cable services, hotel and restaurant chains, and a diversified variety of manufacturing and merchandising establishments.