The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) declared that the local tourism industry already bounced back from the serious negative impact inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past three years.
Anthony de Leon, HRAB chairman and general manager of the Baguio Country Club (BCC), said that the city’s tourism industry was already able to recover in 2022 because of the so-called revenge travel that paved the way for people to eagerly move out of confinement in their places to visit their favorite tourist destinations to witness the changes right after the pandemic.
He claimed that the industry continued to gain from the revenge travel last year and that business for the concerned stakeholders is back to normal similar to pre-pandemic levels.
However, for this year, the HRAB official pointed out that the situation for the city’s tourism industry will start plateauing that is why there will be no significant increases that may be recorded in terms of the number of visitors because it was able to reach its peak during the revenge travel over the past two years.
According to him, businesses were able to bounce back following the revenge travel and it is now up to the owners to maintain their standards to entice more people to patronize their respective establishments.
De Leon stipulated that if there are establishments that are not able to recover from the pandemic, the problem lies with the way the same are being managed that is high time for business owners to review their operations to be able to improve their businesses.
The BCC official disclosed that the recent gastroenteritis outbreak in the city did not actually do harm to the local tourism industry because visitors still continue to flock to the city to enjoy their scheduled vacation while concerned government agencies and the local government were doing the necessary measures to contain the said problem.
The chairman of the Panagbenga Executive Committee asserted that for accommodation establishments, almost all the hotels in the city recorded close to full occupancy which is one of the indications that the city was able to regain the vibrance of the local tourism industry although the situation will plateau for this year.
De Leon revealed that businesses continue to introduce the necessary innovations in their respective operation to remain competitive in the light of the rapid changes that transpire in their regular operations brought about by the changing behavior of residents and tourists.
He invited tourists to visit the city and witness the upcoming highlights of the 28th edition of the Panagbenga or the Baguio flower festival that include the grand streetdancing parade on February 24, 2024, the grand float parade on February 25, 2024 and the Session Road in Bloom on February 27 to March 3, 2024 aside from the other activities that had been lined up for the month-long festivities that started last February 1, 2024 with the opening of the landscaping competition at the Levin Jones grandstand at the Baguio Blooms market encounter at the biking area and in front of the Rose Garden that will run up to March 3, 2024. By Dexter A. See