Tourists from the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog topped the list of visitors with approved tours to the country’s Summer Capital from October 22 to November 3, 2020.
Supervising City Tourism Operations Officer Engr. Aloysius C. Mapalo stated that based on the data culled from the visita-baguio-gov.ph, the city’s online registration platform for tourists, there are a total of 368 visitors mostly from the country’s three major regions that have approved visit to the city since Baguio opened its doors for tourists from the different parts of Luzon last October 22, 2020.
Of the approved visits, 236 visitors will be coming from NCR, 56 tourists will come from Region III, 48 will be from Southern Tagalog, 20 from Region I and 8 from Region II.
He said that the significant increase in the number of visitors wanting to spend their vacation in the city was because of the relaxed rules for tourists where the said number is much greater compared to the only 15 visitors from the Ilocos Region that came up to the city when tourism was opened for the Baguio-Region I tourism bubble last October 1, 2020.
However, he disclosed there were a total of 1,412 travel requests for visits to the city that were recorded in the city’s online registration platform for tourists from October 22 to November 3, 2020.
He explained one of the major reasons for the pendency of the approval of the travel requests of interested visitors is the incomplete documents that were uploaded in the platform, thus, the same had been placed under pending status.
According to him, from the earlier 200 visitors per day that will be allowed in the city, tourism industry stakeholders agreed to increase the same to some 500 visitors but the same could change from time to time depending on the prevailing situation in the city.
He claimed that tourists will be allowed to stay in the residences of their friends and relatives provided they will declare so, and that the houses where they will be living during their declared period of stay in the city are not alleged illegal accommodation establishments that have not been registered with the city government or accredited by the tourism department.
Further, day tourists and do-it-yourself tours are also allowed under the revised guidelines provided that prospective visitors should still register in the online registration platform stating, among others, the details of their visit for monitoring and other purposes.
Mapalo emphasized that tourists who can present their negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or antigen tests upon entry to the city will no longer be tested for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) while they are in the city, except when they manifest symptoms of the virus or when the local government where they came from will require them to present similar negative tests prior to their return.
He assured that the numbers of approved travels to the city will definitely increase in the coming days because the city tourism office is speeding up the approval of pending travel requests to help in gradually opening up the city’s tourism as part of the overall efforts to revive the local economy. By Dexter A. See