Tourist arrivals in Baguio rise; thanks to Panagbenga

BAGUIO CITY – The famous Summer Capital has posted a remarkable increase in tourist registrations and arrivals since the start of the Panagbenga or the Baguio Flower Festival – a proof that tourists are missing the city’s biggest tourism event.

(Photo from Rizaldy Comanda / MANILA BULLETIN)

Aloysius Mapalo, city tourism officer, said travel requests went up to 83,034 in week March 7-13 ,when the first set of weekend events was held and to 96,503 in week March 14-20, when more highlights were staged while actual arrivals were 34,418 and 45,521 respectively.

The week before this period, the city had 66,746 travel requests and 28,453 arrivals.

Mapalo said these figures are expected to further increase this weekend based on the current number of requests being processed in the registration platform

Festival activities will close on March 27.

He said the trend proved people missed the festival which had been cancelled for two years due to the pandemic.

"This also signals that we are moving towards the vibrancy of the new normal as we say, but we would prefer to call it the better normal. We cannot discount the continuing threat of the virus so we remain very cautious," Mapalo said.

Panagbenga Festival opened on March 6 with a special edition that featured its traditional activities except the crowd-drawing parades.

It entered its final week last March 21 with the awaited return of the Session Road in Bloom which turned the city's premiere street into an eating-cum-shopping-cum-promenade hub from March 21-27.

The festival will close on March 27 with the announcement of winners in the landscaping, kite-flying and dance competitions and fireworks displays at Melvin Jones, SM and Session Road.