Baguio starts improvements for tourist season

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014


BAGUIO City Councilor Elmer Datuin on Wednesday confirmed the closure of Mines View Park for the start of the P10 million rehabilitation project is part of further improvements in the Summer Capital to answer the needs of expected two to three million visitors yearly.

This mountain resort had an unprecedented Christmas holiday visitors last year of over 700,000 just in time for the brief respite of President Benigno Aquino who led the revival of the city's amenities to attract local and foreign tourists.

Datuin who monitored the city's inadequacies to host bigger number of visitors at any given time said the improvement concerns focus on more steady supply of potable water, more hotels and lodging accommodations, preservation and additional greeneries more transport terminals, and improved traffic and waste disposal management.

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In 2012, the city had a slump of visitor arrival at less than the average of one million, but initial assessment of the Department of Tourism (DOT) show that in 2013, the city had more than 1.4 million visitors.

Datuin, chair of the council's committee on Tourism, said investors in the past five years were correct to diffuse their eco-tourism development towards the surrounding areas of Sablan, Itogon, Tuba and La Trinidad,--all of Benguet province to decongest this city from hundreds of vehicles as well as shoppers.

Some quarters are still pushing for the revival of the operations of the Loakan Airport for commercial flights, as well as the mothballed golf facilities within the boundary of Tuba, Benguet and Pugo, La Union.

After the neglect of the golf and tourism facility in Pugo, La Union, coupled with the blasting of the giant congrest bust of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, there were fewer attractions for tourists passing along the 43 kilometer Marcos Highway.

Along that all-weather road are few attractions of souvenir and vegetable stalls, a few eateries and small sari-sari stores.

Datuin said the Baguio city government expects bulk of the Baguio visitors will be here for the February flower festival, the Lenten Season in March, and those coming for the long holidays during the 2014 Christmas season.

"We have good prospects of steady increase of visitors coming. We have to prepare to offer them their needs," said Datuin. (Aure Galacgac)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 09, 2014.

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