Issue of July 26, 2020
     
NEWS
Benguet
 
OPINION
 
 
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Benguet prepares once Baguio reopens for tourism activities
by Ofelia C. Empian

All tourism-related activities in Benguet are still banned, but the tourism sector is preparing as it also anticipates the period Baguio will reopen its doors for tourists.

Gov. Melchor Diclas said they would convene with the different tourism officers of the 13 municipalities to discuss future tourism plans, projects and programs for the province and municipalities.

Diclas said once Baguio reopens its doors to tourists, the province would become a spill over area for tourist especially the nearby La Trinidad. 

“In case Baguio City opens, we need to prepare because that is also a means of providing income to some of our citizens,” Diclas said.

Diclas said that based on initial talks with stakeholders, tourism spots will be opened for locals first before visitors and tourists from outside of the province are allowed.

“It would still depend on the local government units of the towns if they will decide to open or not,” he said.

He said a system has to be in place to implement health protocols in the tourism sites such as requiring booking of tourists prior to going to the sites to avoid crowding.

He said this would also help the owners of private tourism sites to prepare their area for their guests for the day.

Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong earlier announced its intent to open its doors to tourists but this will depend on the cases in the National Capital Region and Central Luzon where majority of tourists come frome.

La Trinidad Municipal Tourism Officer Valred Olsim said they are currently crafting the town’s 2021-2025 tourism plan where emphasis is on “controlled or regulated tourism”
“This means limited people would be allowed and it should be properly coordinated,” he said.

Olsim said La Trinidad is preparing for Baguio’s reopening but there is no assurance if they will also be opening their doors to tourists as well. He said the matter would be discussed first by the municipal inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases.


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