December 5, 2022

Baguio City could be a benchmark for other tourist areas to follow on the reopening of tourism activities by local government units, according to Tourism Sec. Bernadette Puyat.
Puyat said Baguio has put in place an efficient system in letting in local tourists to the city safely, as she added the city is also one of the first LGUs to have opened its door to tourists as early as October last year. 
She said this caused the city to be a recipient of the safe travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) last April.
The WTTC’s safe travels stamp is the world’s first safety and hygiene stamp for travelers to recognize governments and businesses that have adopted global health standardized protocols amidst the pandemic.
Puyat said only Baguio and Boracay received the WTTC approval under the LGU category, which could help jumpstart tourism once the national Inter-Agency Task Force allows international tourists to come in.
She said the LGUs and establishments with safe travel stamps would be given free promotion in the websites and social media platforms of the DOT and the Tourism Promotions Board and global exposure to WTTC-member organizations.
Aside from the city LGU, the Grand Sierra Pines Hotel Baguio was issued the safe travel stamp in the entity category.
Puyat also encouraged other LGUs, especially tourist-magnet areas in the Cordillera such as Sagada, Mountain Province to learn from the system of Baguio.
She said the DOT and Tourism Promotions Board-funded Visitor Information and Travel Assistance online system of Baguio could also be used by Sagada in registering interested tourists. 
Sagada is currently conducting dry runs for the eventual opening of its tourism later this year. – Ofelia C. Empian