June 23, 2024

As regions are slowly opening their borders to limited scale tourism, the Department of Tourism-Cordillera is now into capacity building among tourism stakeholders and assessment of potential outdoor destinations.

As the new normal tourism is geared towards open air or outdoor tourism, DOT-Cordillera Officer-in-Charge Jovita Ganongan said the agency is capacitating tour operators and local government units to equip destination sites for safety and health protocols under the new normal.

Businesses directly dealing with tourists have also been mandated to have their employees vaccinated and are encouraged to get accredited as a safe destination by applying for accreditation and issuance of safety seal by their host LGUs.

The agency is also advocating circuit tourism in order to promote other destinations and to encourage tourists to stay longer at a destination.

Areas in the Cordillera currently promoted as circuit destinations are farms and gardens located in Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay.

These destinations are Cosmic Farm in Beckel and DIY brew bar in Pico, both in La Trinidad and Amando’s lemon farm, Polig’s berry farm, Winaca cultural village, all in Tublay.

A team from the University of the Philippines Los Baños recently visited Sabangan, Mountain Province to assess its potential as a site for bird watching.

The proposed inter-province circuit will begin in Baguio, then the farms and mountains of Benguet, bird watching in Sabangan, and ending in Sagada, Mountain Province.

Sagada was supposed to reopen to tourists last September but this was postponed due to the surge in Covid-19 cases.

Regions piloted for circuit tourism are Mimaropa and some parts of Bicol and Calabarzon. – Rimaliza A. Opiña