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Baguio City tourist arrivals increased in 2017

By Joseph Manzano

BAGUIO CITY – Foreign and local tourist arrivals in the city continue to improve amidst the negative publicities that the city had
been getting over the past few days, a senior tourism official said here Tuesday.

City Tourism Office officer-in- charge Jose Marie Rivera claimed that based on the data that his office obtained from tourism
industry stakeholders in 2017, tourist arrivals last year increased by 17.52 percent compared to the combined foreign and local
tourist arrivals the previous year.

Rivera, disclosed that there were over 1.5 million documented foreign and local tourist arrivals last year compared to the 1.3
million recorded tourist arrivals the previous year.

“Baguio City continues to get its share from the foreign and domestic tourist arrivals in the country because of its unique
climate aside from the increasing number of desired tourist destinations around the city,” Rivera stressed.

The tourism officer claimed that almost 90 percent of the city’s tourist arrivals are local visitors but it continues to get a huge
share from American, Korean and Japanese tourists visiting the country annually. Earlier, the local government was able to
institutionalize a system wherein all tourism-related establishments, especially hotels, inns, transient houses, lodging facilities,
among others, are mandated to submit a periodic report relative to the number of visitors that patronized their establishments
to allow tourism industry stakeholders to have a clear picture of the close to perfect tourist arrivals in the city for the guidance
of decision-makers and policy-makers.

Rivera asserted the local government is doing its best to address the serious concerns caused by rapid urbanization such as
traffic and solid waste management to sustain efforts in enticing the foreign and domestic visitors to continue considering
Baguio in their desired destinations during prolonged breaks such as the Holy Week and the summer season.

Meanwhile tourism stakeholders in the city reported a 90 percent occupancy rate in all hotels and inns during this year’s Holy
Week with an estimated 500 thousand tourist arrivals.

More than 5,600 cars were monitored that went up in the city causing moderate to heavy traffic on roads leading to tourist
spots.

Rivera said that it has been observed that Baguio is no longer a summer vacation area but a primordial weekend destination
because of the huge influx of visitors from the lowlands during Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays considering the
significantly reduced travel time from Metro Manila to the city which is now approximately three and a half hours due to the
upcoming completion of the Tarlac-Pangasinan- La Union Expressway (TPLEX).

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