Baguio City may open its doors to tourists from Metro Manila within this year, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Saturday.
Puyat said this was among the matters she discussed with Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong during their meeting Friday.
“No formal date but that was one of the things we talked about with Mayor Magalong,” the Department of Tourism (DoT) Secretary said.
Puyat said Baguio’s reopening to National Capital Region residents may happen “this year.”
She said they are now finalizing the plan and are “also adjusting the protocols.”
Magalong said last month that they are planning to slowly resume tourism activities in the Philippines’ “Summer Capital” with local visitors from Region 1 as their priority.
Puyat, however, maintained that the government will no longer allow “overtourism” even as it encourages the resumption of domestic tourism.
“There is still the presence of a virus so health and safety first,” she had said.
Baguio currently accepts 200 visitors daily coming from Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, La Union, and Pangasinan.
Tourists have to comply with the city government’s registration and booking requirements, which include COVID-19 testing within 72 hours prior to travel before they are allowed entry in the city.
Meanwhile, Puyat said discussions are still ongoing as to whether towns in Benguet province and in Cordillera provinces could also accommodate NCR residents.
“That is being discussed,” Puyat told MB.