January 29, 2023

By the time tourists are allowed to once more set foot in Baguio, their entry will be regulated by registering in a centralized visitors’ center, the City Tourism and Special Events Office (CTSEO) said.

In the proposed tourism recovery plan for Baguio, Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Alec Mapalo said if tourists and visitors are made to register, the city government is able to monitor the entry of people in the city and could come up with measures on how to manage the vehicular and foot traffic.

It is also through this system where the city government could go full swing in collecting environment fees.

At present, environment fees are collected from tourists only at select city parks. 

Mapalo said all tourism-related establishments, online booking portals, tour guides, and tour operators, among others, should also register with the CTSEO to enable the city government to keep track of the number of visitors and tourists.

The proposed tourism recovery plan is divided into three phases: mitigating phase which covers April to May; the transition phase from June to August; and the recovery phase which begins in September onwards.

For the mitigation phase, the CTSEO, Baguio Tourism Council, and other partners and other will produce short videos, post pictures and give a virtual tour of the rejuvenated parks, galleries, museums, and other tourist sites of Baguio

The transition phase, the CTSEO will launch the city’s resiliency and recovery slogan, “Angat na Baguio.”

In keeping with the slogan, which loosely translates into Baguio “rising” from the effect of the pandemic, there will be gradual opening of select establishment, but entry of tourists is still prohibited.

There will be a minor rehabilitation of parks, small community activities, seminars for those in the tourism sector, crafting of ordinances related to tourism sustainability, crafting of corporate promotions by tourism establishments and sponsors, and rollout of financial relief and stimulus package for tourism establishments.

For the recovery phase, the slogan “Akyat na sa Baguio,” will be launched.

Several events are also planned for the recovery phase. The activities are spread until May 2021.

Mapalo said the proposed tourism recovery plan will depend on national and local government and Department of Health directives. – Rimaliza A. Opiña

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