Editorial: A story in numbers-A A +A
Thursday, September 5, 2013
TEN. This is the 10th year of the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism weekend of the Hotel and Restaurants Association of Baguio, led by its chairman Baguio Country Club general manager and 2013 outstanding citizen of Baguio Anthony de Leon and chairman emeritus Solibao's Atty. Moises Cating.
Six. The number of giant replica cakes unveiled by the HRAB to the public yesterday. They were replicas of the Baguio City Hall, the Mansion House, Baguio Country Club, the Philippine Military Academy’s Melchor Hall, the Baguio Post Office and Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral (more commonly referred to as the Baguio Cathedral).
Eight thousand. The number of people the cake could feed. As to the exact number of people who partook of the cakes yesterday? A lot? Who cares? They seemed happy.
Three. The flavors of the different cakes – carrot, banana and the classic chocolate.
Three hundred fresh carrots, 15,000 fresh bananas, 900 kilos of sugar, 1,000 kilos of all purpose flour, 340 liters of corn oil, 600 cans of evaporated milk, 11,000 fresh eggs, 130 kilos of baking powder, 12 kilos of walnuts and 200 kilos of butter. Ingredients needed for the cakes.
Three. And a half. Hours. Length of the Baguio Day program.
Nil. The number of people united by the Unity Ball last September 1.
Oh we could go on and on. Especially with the newfound obsession of several of our tourism stakeholders in numbers. In fact, we are still perfecting the system of how to properly account all tourists. We still call them tourists, right? What with the confusion of calling them excursionists or visitors or sightseers or guests.
Look, we can all harp about the rising number of tourist arrivals in the country, in the region, in the city. Media can give the public a number and pass it off as gospel truth. A friend talking to another friend could do the same.
But numbers are useless if we do not know what to do with these. Sure you expect another million tourists in the city come December all wanting to experience the cold climate. So, what do you do?
Do we let them register so we could have an accurate number of tourists so, what, so we could move on to write speeches pegged on the increasing trend of tourist arrivals? Do we hold another snow show? Another unity ball?
We can harp on numbers. But you’re missing a point.
Is it really about the numbers? Did anyone ever ask the tourists about their experiences in the city, in the region?
Say a million tourists come here and 90 percent of them say they were sadly disappointed about what they saw. On the other hand, we could have 200,000 visitors with 90 percent saying they had the time of their lives.
It’s the quality of experience. Get that? We believe you don’t.
Too long. The number of years you’ve been in position.
Now, if you could only let us have our cake and eat it, too.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 06, 2013.