ATOK, Benguet – The municipal government is ready for the expected influx of tourists with the expected significant drop in temperature following the onset of the northeast monsoon until early next year.
Mayor Franklin Smith said that the municipal government already activated the emergency operations center of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office in close coordination with the Atok Municipal Police Station and barangay officials and volunteers to guarantee the safety of tourists visiting the municipality, especially with the continuous drop in the prevailing temperature.
Atok is one of the highly elevated areas in the province that often experiences frost when the temperature drops to single digit, especially at the height of the northeast monsoon close to the end of the year or the start of a new year until the first quarter of the following year.
“We noticed a significant increase in tourists dropping by our various tourist destinations over the past several days following the start of the decline of the prevailing temperature which they actually want to experience. We hope that there will be no untoward incident that will transpire so that our visitors will enjoy their stay in the municipality while enjoying our scenic tourist spots and cool weather,” mayor Smith stressed.
The municipal chief executive said that the influx of visitors will definitely contribute in reviving the vibrance of the town’s economy that had been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic so that displaced workers and entrepreneurs can get back their jobs and the economic activities and livelihoods will be stabilized.
Among the frequented places in the municipality include the second highest point of the Philippine highway system along the Halsema highway at barangay Cattubo, the Northern Blossoms Flower Garden, the Sakura Park, and other similar agri- and ecotourism destinations in the different parts of the locality.
He advised tourists to always bring with them thick and warm clothing when visiting the various tourist spots and enjoying the town’s much cooler weather to prevent them from contracting cold day illnesses that might affect their health condition and the enjoyment of their visit.
According to him, the municipal government is doing its best to ensure that the various public and private tourist destinations will comply with the prescribed standards imposed by the tourism department so that visitors can enjoy their well-deserved break at the municipality.
Smith claimed that his administration continues to collaborate with the owners of private tourist spots to ensure that their establishments have the necessary parking spaces and facilities that will make the experiences of tourists fulfilling for them to become the town’s tourism ambassadors by spreading the news that Atok is a worthwhile destination for everyone.
Aside from agriculture, Atok is a fast emerging agri and ecotourism destination because of the presence of numerous flower farms and nature destinations that have evolved since the implementation of community quarantine restrictions at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.