WITH photographs of the cabbage rose in Atok, Benguet going viral, the municipality is preparing for a tourist flush.
Municipal Agriculture Officer Cherry Sano said social media has increased tourists flocking to the municipality especially during holidays.
"May effect po iyong social media post ng mga cabbage roses, medyo dumagsa iyong tourist including Sakura farm and Mt. Timbac which are frequent places for the tourists," Sano said.
Sano added an average of 100 visitors in a day can be expected basing from the previous weekends arrivals.
"When it comes to tourism, the municipality still has a lot of things to do and hope ordinances regarding tourism services, stakeholders, transport groups and restaurants and transient house would in place," added Sano.
Sano said on February 20, the municipality and tourism stakeholders convened to discuss preparations in case of the number of tourist anticipated for the Panagbenga weekend.
"For the previous days we don't require them to register in the municipal building but starting February 21, all tourist must register," Sano said.
Previously, the municipality did not collect fees however, for monitoring purposes and safety, a fee of P500 for a group of five is collected with a trained tourist guide.
There are 33 tourist guides in the municipality.
Provincial Agriculturist Lolita Bentres said with elevation of the town at 540 meters above sea level (masl) and maximum 2,660 masl and temperatures dipping to 15 degrees, the growth of quality cabbage roses is possible.
Previously, cabbage roses were cultivated in Shilan, La Trinidad with quality differing from the Atok grown varieties where a cabbage plant has violet, red and white colors with leaves shaped differently.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on February 23, 2018.
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