“Responsible tourism will remain to be our vision for Baguio as can be gleaned by the Tourism Recovery and Resiliency Plan which was developed during this (Coronavirus 2019) pandemic.”
Thus, declared Mayor Benjamin Magalong in his State of the City Address during the 112th Baguio Charter Day Anniversary, September 1, at the Baguio Convention Center with Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat as guest of honor.
This year’s celebration theme is , “Moving Forward As One”.
The mayor said that a tourism carrying capacity study through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is currently being undertaken in order to guide the city government’s future decisions and actions in this sector.
The VISITA (Visitor Information and Travel Assistant) app, an online registration for Baguio tourists and travelers, continues to be the platform for the Summer Capital’s safe, sure, and sustained economic re-opening, he said.
He cited the “unwavering assistance and constant encouragement” of Sec. Puyat including the entire Tourism Department (DOT), especially the Tourism Promotions Board and Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority, as “they have been Baguio’s premier supporters ever since.”
The Mayor said that so far, about P18.79 million have allotted by the DOT to fund local tourism projects, broken down into P7.2 million downloaded July last year; P7.9 million for park signages and wayfinders; and P3.6 million for antigen testing subsidy for tourists.
Also, the city launched on the same day the Baguio re-branding project which, he said, “seeks to inculcate public consciousness of a creatively designed and iconic inspired Baguio cultural identity.”
Responsible tourism is part of the city government’s three-year, 15-point agenda that aims to achieve the desired quality urban life in Baguio.-Gaby B. Keith