Opening Of Baguio Tourism, Gradual, Regulated, Dynamic


The proposed opening of the city’s tourism industry by September will be gradual, regulated and dynamic where prevailing guidelines and procedures could change or even scrapped anytime.

Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Aloysius Mapalo said the number of visitors that will be allowed entry to the city will be limited through the Baguio Visitors Information and Travel Assistance (VISITA) website and mobile application which will also serve as travel guide for those are interested in visiting the city after the implementation of the community quarantine.

He added the guidelines for the opening of the city’s tourism are stringent that could result to no visitors at all during the opening of the local tourism industry to people who can afford to take the risk.

Aside from logging their preferred dates to visit the city and have pre-booked their accommodations to the hotels issued certificates of authority to operate by the tourism department, interested visitors are required to register with the Baguio VISITA and upload the required documents before their trips from their places of origin and await the confirmation of their visit.

Upon arrival at the city, the visitors will have to undergo the required triaging at the city’s centralized triage center where they will undergo the mandatory swab test for which the results will be released within 9 to 12 hours by the private molecular laboratory at their own expense.

The city tourism officer claimed visitors will be required to provide their itinerary while in the city which will be closely monitored, aside from seeking the assistance of local travel agencies and tour operators for their scheduled visit in the city.

According to him, the city will make a dry run on the opening of the local tourism industry to residents where they will have a chance to make visits to the different tourist spots anytime before the proposed opening of tourism for outside visitors.

Mapalo pointed out the initial reactions of the people to the post made on the proposed gradual opening of the city’s tourisms industry indicated the pulse of the residents and prospective visitors and helped them further improve the guidelines to ensure the smooth roll out of the said endeavor next month.

He disclosed some 94 hotels in the city had been issued the required certificate of authority to operate by the tourism department for the establishments to prepare for the opening of the city’s tourism that will allow then to sustain their operational costs while complying with the prescribed minimum health standards.

On the other hand, Mapalo also reported to the city management committee that some 33 tourism-related micro and small enterprises with more than 5,000 employees closed their operations after being heavily impacted by the implementation of the Luzon wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) last March and that their chances of resuming their operations will be difficult with the present situation not only of the city but other parts of the country.  (Dexter A. See)

(Photo courtesy by Joe Manzano)

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