BAGUIO City has breached the 10,000-mark for tourist arrivals since its gradual opening in September, the tourism office recorded.
The gradual opening was marked during the Charter Day celebration of Baguio City on September 1, 2020. Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Department of Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo- Puyat, and officials from the neighboring provinces of Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte inked an agreement to open tourism on September 21.
The summer capital has also started welcoming tourists from Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon on October 22.
Tourism officer Engineer Alec Mapalo said just after a month, they recorded 3,992 Visita-approved travels and online registration of 6,567 business or work-related travels.
“That will mean 10,559 for the past month,” said Mapalo. The figures of Baguio’s tourist arrivals top tourist destinations like Boracay, Bohol or Ilocos, according to Mapalo.
“Even so, that same number is not even 10 percent of our pre-pandemic figures, with an average of 120,000 monthly tourist arrivals in the past. But it's somehow what we're expecting. We've really planned it so that our restart of tourism will be slow, safe and sure,” added Mapalo.
Records from the Baguio Tourism Office show there are 518 accommodation establishments with over 4,000 employees affected, not counting the food and beverage sector and the creatives industry.
In February alone, the city has lost over P1.4 billion in tourism receipts since the closing of borders and restricted movement. The losses in the tourism industry have ballooned to the billion-peso mark.
Mapalo presented a recovery plan with the Baguio Tourism Council, the private partner of the city, to cope with a post-pandemic scenario and bounce back after the slump in tourism.
The slogan “Angat Tayo Baguio” was initially crafted to become the battle cry for the resurgence of the tourism sector, as well as its thousands of stakeholders.