Baguio still prime tourist destination – Mapalo

BAGUIO CITY October 04 – The City Tourism Office underscored that Baguio city remains to be one of the top tourist destinations in the country amidst issues on the proposed rehabilitation of the city after the government will complete the on-going rehabilitation of Boracay Island.

Supervising Tourism Operations Officer Engr. Aloysius Mapalo said tourism arrivals in the city continues to increase based on the initial data being obtained from existing accommodation establishments in the city through the years.

In 2016, the recorded tourist arrivals in the city was some 1.2 million which substantially increased to 1.5 million last year.

Mapalo added that for the first semester of this year and partial reports from accommodation establishments from July to September show that tourist arrivals in the city already reached over 1 million with the peak tourism season just around the corner.

"WE are still on the process of adding up to the branding of the city to contribute in efforts to sustain the influx of foreign and domestic tourists wanting to enjoy the cool weather and sceneries around the city" Mapalo stressed.

The local tourism officer disclosed that the local government was able to record some 194 accommodation establishments that are supposed to periodically submit data on the number of people that stayed in the said establishments for a certain period.

However, Mapalo claimed that only 104 accommodation establishments representing a little over 50 percent of the registered accommodation businesses have submitted data on the number of tourists that patronized their establishments.

According to him, the recorded accommodation establishments is yet representative of the existing number of accommodation businesses in the different parts of the city, thus, the local government already coordinated with the barangay officials for them to submit to the City Tourism Office a detailed list of registered accommodation facilities in their areas of jurisdiction from which they could derive data on the number of tourists that have visited the city.

Mapalo explained much has yet to be done for the concerned government agencies and local government to come out with the close to real data on the tourist arrivals in the city that is why local tourism industry stakeholders are now working extra hard to be able to formulate the appropriate solution to the situation.

Earlier, the local legislative body approved an ordinance requiring all accommodation establishments operating in the city to submit to the local government actual data on their occupancy for the city to be able to cull out the needed data on the tourism arrivals in the city.

He explained that the issued on the supposed rehabilitation of Baguio city after the completion of the Boracay Island is an issued that has been appropriately given the proper attention by the concerned government agencies and offices of the local government wherein specific problems require specific solutions that can be well attended by people who are familiar with the situation. He said that there is no need for the national government to intervene in the prevailing local issues of rapid urbanization among others because the city had been widely projected as a tourism haven and now that people flock to the city, there is now a proposal to limit the influx of tourists which will surely have an impact of the growth of the industry in the future. By Dexter A. See

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