The city increased the number of daily tourist arrivals in the Summer Capital to 4,000 from the previous 3,000 travelers as part of the ongoing efforts to gradually and safely revive the heavily impacted local tourism industry amidst the emerging threat of the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The increase in daily tourist arrivals to the city took effective Monday following enormous demand from interested travelers wanting to spend their well-deserved break in the city during the Yuletide season as almost all the accredited accommodation establishments are said to be fully booked every weekend up to the end of the current year.
Earlier, Baguio City was placed under Alert Level 2 that paved the way for the local government to start easing up on the prevailing restrictions where the initial number of daily tourists allowed to enter the city was only 2,000 before the end of October.
Under the guidelines for areas that have been placed on alert Level 2, accommodation establishments are only allowed a maximum capacity of 50 percent of their declared capacity to ensure the compliance to the prevailing implementation of the minimum public health standards to avoid unnecessary incidents that might cause another surge in COVID-19 cases that might derail the ongoing efforts to revive the local tourism industry.
Tourists wanting to visit the city are mandated to register in the established online registration platform, Baguio, visita.gov.ph, and await the issuance of their QR-coded tourist pass (QTP) that will be presented to the police personnel manning the various quarantine checkpoints before being allowed entry to the city.
Further, tourists must also have booking arrangements with accredited accommodation establishments to ensure their safe stay in the city during their scheduled visit.
However, the city also accredited some 30 accommodation establishments for the registration and triaging of their guests to prevent the congestion of the city’s central triage area located at the Baguio Convention Center and to make it easier for the visitors to process their entry in the city during their respective scheduled visits.
The accredited accommodation establishments are also allowed to issue blue QTPs which will not be part of the 4,000 limit that is imposed on the daily tourist arrivals.
Baguio City is a prime tourist destination north of Metro manila because of its cool and romantic weather that serves as a natural pull for individuals from the lowlands to always make it a point to spend their vacation in the city, especially during the cold months from November to march for them to enjoy the natural air conditioning.
Local tourism industry stakeholders expressed hope that the ongoing efforts of concerned government agencies and the local government to gradually and safely revive the heavily impacted tourism industry will not be compromised by the emergence of the Omicron variant so that many displaced workers will be able to get back their jobs aside from the fact that the economic activities and sources of livelihood of the people will be enhanced in the coming months for purposes of recovering from the serious negative impact of the pandemic. By Dexter A. See