July 25, 2024

Baguio remains the destination of choice as shown by the uptick in the number of tourist arrivals in the past weeks.

City Tourism Officer Aloysius Mapalo said the uptick in visitors started when travel restrictions in the National Capital Region Plus areas where the bulk of Baguio’s local tourists are from, was eased recently.

He said the launching in June 7 by the city government of the Tourism Promotions Board-subsidized antigen tests that can be availed of by tourists at P350 also contributed to the increase in the number of visitors.

“Although Baguio is currently attracting a lot more visitors, the numbers are not even close to 20 percent of its pre-pandemic tourist arrival figures,” Mapalo said.

When visitors from NCR Plus where still not allowed to travel, he said Baguio only had around 500 tourists in April, which increased to 2,169 in May due to the promotions offered by local hotels and restaurants.

Mapalo said the opening of NCR Plus created an immediate surge of tourist arrivals in the city 1,400 from June1 to 6 and 2,978 visitors as of June 13.

He said this Baguio’s main source of local tourists is the NCR followed by regions 3 and 4-A.

Earlier, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city is once again opening its economy and tourism industry due to its “very manageable Covid-19 situation” as he assured no one’s health and safety will be compromised since certain guidelines and procedures are enforced.

“We need to open up our economy.  We are hurting. Many are going hungry and people are getting depressed,” the mayor said. – Gaby B. Keith