Baguio will reopen to local tourists from Region I this Sept. 21

Published September 3, 2020, 12:59 PM

by Vianca Gamboa

Don’t you just wish you live in Baguio, Ilocos, LU, and Pangasinan? 

Photo by Carmela Asistio via Unsplash

The Department of Tourism is hard at work strategizing ways to ensure a gradual and safe reopening, especially in the City of Pines. One of the key plans include an established gateway for local tourists in the BLUPISIN area, which is located between Baguio City, Ilocos region, and the provinces of La Union and Pangasinan. 

The Ridge to Reef Corridor project aims to promote seamless travel across local destinations that have been deemed safe for tourists through advanced and unified inter-provincial protocols in terms of border control and community health assurance. There will also be an assigned technical working group to take care of its master plan, landscape, and research.

“This corridor plan of the BLUPISIN is truly admirable,” says Tourism Sec. Berna Romulo Puyat. “It is a clear manifestation of the strong support of the local and provincial leaders to jumpstart tourism, which thousands of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region rely on. This can serve as a pilot project, and when successful, can be replicated where applicable.”

Just last Tuesday, Sec. Berna attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong and governors from the Ilocos region, including Governors Amado Espino III (Pangasinan), Matthew Manotoc (Ilocos Norte), and Ryan Singson (Ilocos Sur) for the convergence plan and to celebrate the 111th Baguio Day. Sec. Berna also commended the local government unit of Baguio for its effective crisis management system that resulted in the highest testing per total population in the country.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat with Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong at the sidelines of the city’s 111th Charter Day

Not only will the program facilitate tourism and economic recovery, according to Tourism Promotions Board, he DOT will also be allocating funds for Baguio’s sustainable programs such as the development of hub, an e-commerce and cultural hub, Baguio V.I.S.I.T.A. (Visitor Information and Travel Assistance), a multi-platform digital monitoring application, and the revival of city’s weaving and fashion industry. 

“With sustainable tourism as our core advocacy, we have and will continue to ensure that policies are in place for the protection of the environment and the local community,” says Sec. Berna. “As Baguio readies to open its doors, we are being given the opportunity now to refocus on sustainable and responsible tourism, taking into account the quality rather than the number of tourists entering this iconic and beloved destination.”

According to initial protocols, visitors from Region I need to pre-register and pre-book accommodations and will be encouraged to go through mandatory triage and testing of either RT-PCR or antigen, once the guidelines are approved. They will be regulated and monitored through the Baguio V.I.S.I.T.A. platform.