BAGUIO CITY – Tourists from Luzon wanting to spend their Yuletide vacation here may still register with the city’s registration platform for visitors after city officials decided to increase the daily tourist arrivals from 500 to 1,000.
Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Engr. Aloysius Mapalo reported the decision to increase the daily tourist arrivals in the city was part of the strategic program of the city to gradually, safely and responsibly open the local tourism industry to help revive the economy so that the people will be able to hurdle the heavy impact of the quarantine measure.
Mapalo said, based on the data from the city’s registration platform visita.baguio.gov.ph., there were nearly 3,200 approved travel requests to the city from December 1 to December 30 with an expected increase in the coming days because of the 200 to 300 travel requests being approved daily.
He said 80 percent of the approved travel requests to the city were from tourists residing in the National Capital Region (NCR) while the remaining 20 percent were from other regions in Luzon.
Earlier, the city government opened the tourism industry for prospective visitors from the Ilocos Region through the so-called Baguio-Region 1 tourism bubble dubbed the Ridge and Reef tourism corridor.
The tourism push was not as successful as expected after only 15 applications from tourists in Region 1 were approved between October 1 and October 22.
Mapalo claimed that when the city expanded the coverage of visitors to the whole of Luzon, 6,207 visits were approved from October 22 to November 29, aside from the more than 7,000 approved travel requests for business and other essential travels to the city under another the platform hdf.baguio.gov.ph., which indicated that the local tourism industry was slowly on the way to recover.
“It’s not a business as usual just yet for tourism. Businesses are still down, livelihood and employment are still a struggle for a city that thrived in tourism,” he said.
“But tourists and businesses are still being patient and understanding, knowing that Mayor Benjamin Magalong and the city government does not compromise when it comes to health and safety of all. Striking the perfect balance is really tricky and will always have risks, but we meant it when we said this will be slow, safe but sure,” Mapalo added.
He said the number of travel requests to the city was expected to increase in the coming days as indicated by the increasing number of daily applications from visitors wanting to spend a longer Yuletide break in the city.