1.2 M tourists visit Baguio in 9 months

Published November 28, 2022, 10:46 PM

by Comanda Rizaldy C.

BAGUIO CITY – An estimated 1.2 million tourists or 150,000 monthly have visited this city from March to the present, the City Tourism Office said.

CHRISTMAS display at the Baguio Botanical Garden. (Baguio City PIO FB)

The CTO said the number of tourists is reaching pre-pandemic levels and will definitely be a big boost to the ongoing gradual and safe revival of the tourism industry and the local economy.

Supervising City Tourism Officer Engr. Aloysius Mapalo said that the conduct of various tourism-related activities over the past several months contributed to enticing tourists to visit the Summer Capital and become aware of its rich culture and history as a designated Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Mapalo said that the road to recovery of the tourism industry here is in the right direction, with activities lined up for Christmas and the much-awaited Baguio Flower Festival or Panagbenga likely contributing to the revival of the heavily-impacted local economy.

However, Mapalo said that despite the presence of the Visitors Information and Travel Assistance (VISITA) registration platform, the number of tourists recorded by accredited tourism-related establishments still does not reflect the real state of the local tourism industry because of unrecorded, unreported, and undeclared day tourists.

According to Mapalo, more than 50 percent of tourists arriving in this city have not been reported or declared due to the absence of mechanisms that will require their registration, especially in accredited accommodation establishments, if they decide to stay.

In 2019, more than 1.57 million tourists arrived here, based on data from accredited accommodation establishments. In 2020, the number of tourist arrivals drastically dipped to 268,000 following the implementation of lockdowns to contain the spread of Covid-19.