Baguio City has posted a marked increase in tourist registrations and arrivals since the start of the Baguio Flower Festival proving that people had missed the city’s biggest tourism event, City Tourism Officer Aloysius Mapalo said.
Mapalo said travel requests went up to 83,034 in week March 7-13 when the first set of weekend events was held and to 96,503 in week March 14-20 when more highlights were staged while actual arrivals were 34,418 and 45,521 respectively. The week before this period, the city had 66,746 travel requests and 28,453 arrivals.
He said these figures are expected to further increase this weekend based on the current number of requests being processed in the registration platform visita.baguio.gov.ph. Festival activities will close this weekend.
Mapalo said the trend proved how people missed the festival which did not have public staging for two years due to the pandemic.
“This also signals that we are moving towards the vibrancy of the new normal as we say but we would prefer to call it the better normal. We cannot discount the continuing threat of the virus so we remain very cautious,” he said.
He said the BFFFI made sure that protocols remained in place in all the activities.
Panagbenga opened on March 6 with a special edition that featured its traditional activities except the crowd-drawing parades.
It entered its final week last March 21 with awaited return of the Session Road in Bloom which turned the city’s premiere street into an eating-cum-shopping-cum-promenade hub from March 21-27.
The festival will close on March 27 with the announcement of winners in the landscaping, kite-flying and dance competitions and fireworks displays at Melvin Jones, SM and Session Road.
Photo by Neil Clark Ongchangco