THE city may well be on the road to recovering its losses during the 2009 onslaught of Typhoon Pepeng as the Department of Tourism (DOT) said the tourist arrivals in the city is looking good and positive.

DOT Regional Director Purificacion Molintas said the city's promotion as the gateway to adventure is an effective way to attract more tourists.

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"You have to keep reinventing yourself, Baguio is on the right track as the name of the game even in the international market is adventure," Molintas said.

Molintas disclosed that there were many travel cancellations last 2009, which contributed to a 12 percent decrease in tourist arrivals, including about 200 European tourists who backed out last year.

However, Molintas said at the start of 2010, foreign tourists are expected to arrive once again in the city.

She disclosed that the city will be hosting to 210 British nationals and 33 French nationals.

She added that the DOT is expecting 80 Japanese next week and 80 Koreans the following week.

"If the tourist arrivals are going to be consistent, we can expect a turnaround in the tourism industry (this year)," Molintas said.

Despite the positive beginning of tourism in Baguio, Molintas admitted it will be hard for the city to become the number one destination of the country because it lacks the capacity to host a large number of tourists and it's inaccessibility from Manila.

"It is quite difficult to be number one as the capacity is quite limited and there are many other limiting factors," Molintas said.

She said there is a need for an international gateway, which is closer to the city.

She added that the current gateway, which is in Clark, is three to four hours away from the city compared to the six to seven hours from Manila.

Molintas said the DOT is trying to develop Poro Point as another gateway to the city. (Visha Calventas)