July 17, 2024

Tourism in Benguet is still slowly recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic that is why an effective action plan is needed, a provincial official said.

Board Member Juan Nazarro, Jr. said he plans to meet with tourism stakeholders as partners in evaluating existing programs and create new plans for the province if necessary.

Nazarro, who heads the committee on tourism, said there would also be a need to reorganize the members of the tourism council who would plan out the direction of tourism in Benguet.  

 Individuals from the private sector will be involved in the formulation of new plans on how to promote Benguet.

“What is the action plan we need to do to entice tourists to visit Benguet? We know that tourists always look forward for something new,” Nazarro said.

He said tourism is an integral part of the province since other sectors also benefit from the influx of tourists.  He said tourism needs to be strengthened since a lot of residents who rely on the tourism industry lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Provincial Tourism Officer Eleazar Carias said only Kibungan remains totally closed for tourism activities.

But the pandemic has ushered in creativity with the local farmers, as many converted into agri-eco tourism farms.

Carias said the province still needs to improve and expand accommodation facilities such as homestays, especially in tourism sites far from the urban centers.

Coordination is ongoing for residents who are interested to open their homes for tourists.

Interested residents, however, must undergo a series of training and evaluation with the assistance of the Department of Tourism-Cordillera. – Ofelia C. Empian