TOURISM at the Camp John Hay is booming.
John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC) president and chief executive officer (CEO) Allan Garcia reported a hike in arrivals with a record of 10.17 percent increase since 2017.
Garcia said tourist arrivals recorded in the historical core alone reached 104,093 comparing to 94,480 arrivals in the 2017.
He cited the partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) in the recently launched forest bathing at the historic yellow trail of the camp.
The trail at the Camp John Hay area spans a trek of four kilometers through pine forest covers and is eyed as site for art installations by local artists.
Both the DOT and the JHMC have laid the foundation for the development of forest bathing as a sustainable health and wellness tourism activity in the city and the BLISTT areas.
A project by the former DOT regional director Venus Tan, who now sits as the CEO of the Tourism Board, forest bathing has caught the attention of the public since it was launched.
The project aims to develop an urban forest bathing site and become a pioneering tourism activity in the city that espouses sustainable tourism and supports protection and preservation of urban forests and protected parks.
Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, originated from Japan and literally means taking in the forest atmosphere.
It involves taking in the sights, smells and sounds of a natural setting to improve physiological health. Basically, it is a leisurely visit to a forest.
It has been proven that forest environments could lower concentrations of stress hormones called “cortisol, lower pulse rates, lowers blood pressure, increase parasympathetic nerve activity, lower sympathetic nerve activity."
JHMC vice president Jane Theresa Tabalingcos said people are more aware of the environment now and realize that a big chunk of the watershed is at Camp John Hay.
Tabalingcos was with the DOT as the concept of forest bathing was made and saw its growth for the coming years.