The city continues to gradually increase the number of daily visitors allowed to enter the Summer Capital to accommodate the increasing requests from interested visitors to spend a break in the city as its pushes through efforts to safely and surely revive the heavily impacted local tourism industry.
From the previous 4,000 daily tourist arrivals in the city at the start of December, Supervising City Tourism Operations Officer Engr. Aloysius C. Mapalo claimed that starting December 15, 2021, the number of allowed daily tourist arrivals in the city will be 5,000 to cater to the enormous demand from visitors.
He explained that the 5,000 daily limit on the number of tourists will be required to undergo the regular triage at the central triage prior to being allowed entry to the city as part of the stricter border controls being enforced to prevent the rapid spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its variants in the city.
On the other hand, the city tourism officer disclosed that the city government accredited over 100 hotels, transient houses and bus terminals to conduct triage of their guests which is not included in the daily limit of tourist arrivals in the city, and said establishments will be allowed to issue blue quarantine tourist passes (QTPs) for their triaged guests.
Of the accredited establishments, 37 are hotels, 67 are transient houses and 3 are bus terminals with permitted triage facilities to triage their respective guests.
According to him, these accredited establishments have a total capacity of more than 7,000 guests that will be added to the existing daily limit of tourist arrivals allowed under the city’s registration platform, visita.baguio.gov.ph.
However, Mapalo stipulated that the number of guests of the accredited establishments have not yet met the full capacity as projected that is why the daily tourist arrivals in the city is still manageable.
When the city started easing up on the restrictions for tourists, the number of daily travelers was limited to only 2,000 at the end of October before it increased to 3,000 daily travelers before the end of November.
Under Alert Level 2 where Baguio City is included, accommodation establishments are required to have only a maximum of 50 percent of their full capacity as part of the restrictions to contain the further spread of the virus.
Local tourism industry stakeholders expressed hope that the ongoing significant decline in the number of COVID-19 cases will continue amidst the emergence of the Omicron variant so that the heavily impacted sectors can start recovering and for the industry to regain its vibrancy and resume the livelihoods for tourism-dependent stakeholders. By Dexter A. See