Leisure travels to the city significantly dropped following the implementation of more restrictions due to the recent surge in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases triggered by the more infectious and more transmissible Omicron variant.
Supervising City Tourism Operations Officer Engr. Aloysius C. Mapalo stated that the sharp drop in leisure travels was caused by the many cancellations made by prospective visitors with already approved travels to the city after Baguio City was placed under alert Level III during the early part of the year.
Currently, the daily limit for leisure travel to the city remains at 4,000 excluding those visitors that have booked in hotels and accommodation establishments allowed by the city to triage their own guests.
He disclosed that tourists from areas under Alert Level III will have to present their negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results which were taken 72 hours prior to travel or negative antigen test taken 24 hours before travel in addition to their vaccination cards in the border quarantine control points as part of the measures to mitigate the further surge in local cases.
Based on the data from the visita.baguio.gov.ph, the city’s registration platform for tourists, there had been a sharp decline in actual tourist arrivals in the city during the past week compared to the previous weeks when the situation was much better.
From January 10-16, 2022, there were some 21,438 approved travels to the city from the 37,009 travel requests but only 3,522 travelers actually arrived in the city during the said period.
On January 8, 2022, there were still 2,072 tourists that arrived in the city before dropping to 997 visitors on January 9, 697 tourists on January 10, 439 travelers on January 11, 297 on January 12, 496 on January 13, 568 on January 14, 667 on January 15 and 358 on January 16.
From January 1-16, 2022, there were some 241,872 approved travels to the city but only 110,217 tourist were able to actually arrive where 121,664 had hotel bookings during that time. The highest number of tourist arrivals in the city during the said period was recorded on January 1, 2022 with some 5,492 tourists that actually arrived while the least number of tourist arrivals was reported on January 12, 2022 with only 297 visitors.
The city started to gradually revive the local tourism industry in late October with an initial limit of 2,000 travelers daily before the same was increased to 3,000 by the middle of November, 4,000 by early December and 5,000 by the middle part of December.
From January 3-09, 2022, there were some 46,487 approved travels to the city from the 63,980 travel requests in the city’s online registration platform but only 17,091 visitors actually arrived.
On the other hand, from December 27, 2021 to January 2, 2022, there were some 69,294 approved travels to the city from the 91,624 travel requests during the said period but only 39,629 visitors were able to actually arrive in the city.
Moreover, Mapalo reported that there were some 6,718 actual tourist arrivals in the city in October, 67,962 actual tourist arrivals in November and 147,145 tourist arrivals in December which served as the peak of the city’s tourist arrivals because of the easing up of the community quarantine restrictions following the decline in cases from the surge of the Delta variant.