June 24, 2024

Baguio City will need more time and data to come up with a decision on the threshold for tourist arrivals, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said.
“As of now what we have is just the initial data and it not enough. Baka hilaw, baka kulang so we make sure that we have sufficient data before we analyze and evaluate and then we can come up with the right decision,” the mayor said.
The baseline number of tourists for the study was set at 20,000 tourists a day but daily tourist arrivals had been reaching only 8,000 to 9,000 in the previous days. 
“It is not enough basis for our study. We need to hit a range of 15,000 to 20,000 consistently for us to have relevant data so we will need more time. Let’s wait,” the mayor said.
Magalong said the city needs to set a limit for visitors to achieve a new normal sustainable tourism to avoid the effects of overtourism and ensure the comfort and health and safety of residents and visitors and also meet the needs of the economic sector.
The 20,000 study baseline was set after the city received such number of visitors in the last weekend of February and assessments on vehicle and human traffic movement turned out encouraging.
The study uses parameters on traffic and crowd movement manageability and air quality.
The mayor said the current number of tourists in the city is expected as the industry is just starting to pick up after the slump. Another cause is the current high cost of fuel which makes travel expenses prohibitive.
As to questions on the city’s entry protocols, City Tourism Officer Alec Mapalo reiterated the city needs to maintain entry requirements particularly registration to monitor arrivals, proof of vaccination and negative test results “to ensure mutual protection as a surge is still possible without protection.” – Aileen P. Refuerzo