“Tourism must be revitalized”

by Joel B. Belinan

Baguio City— “A good environment, a peaceful and orderly city, the hospitable attitude of our people and good city services are the key to the revitalization of the local tourism industry,” mayoralty candidate Mauricio G. Domogan said this week.

Tourism revitalization is one of Domogan’s programs of government noting the fact that a big part of the city’s revenue comes from the tourism industry, and from the educational sector. If these five factors are all set in place and with our big advantage of having a much cooler climate, whether we like it or not, we will continue to grow as a tourism destination and as an educational center of the north, he explained.

“We should be able to immediately resolve our garbage problem and attain our old status as a clean and green city. Apart from this, the peace and order situation like the much publicized high school fraternity “gang wars” and the traffic congestion should be given focus and attention,” he added.

The congressman however also said that tourism related activities such as the annual Panagbenga Festival and other tourism events should continue to be improved. These tourism initiatives by both the private sector and the local government should be harnessed for the benefit not only of businesses but for the people of Baguio as a whole.

Domogan who was then the city mayor in 1995 together with Atty. Damaso Bangaoet co-founded the Panagbenga which was first called the Baguio Flower Festival. “We never expected that the Panagbenga Festival will grow this big. And we are happy that the Department of Tourism (DOT) had assessed that our Panagbenga Festival is now the biggest festival in the entire country,” he said.

Baguio was established by the American colonial government as a rest and recreation city for its troops and civil personnel. Planned for a population of 25,000, the city at any given time now hosts 350,000 to 400,000. These numbers can go up to as high as one million on peak seasons, like during the  highlight of the Panagbenga Festival or on the weekend when the Float Parade and the Street Dancing are held, and during the Holy Week.**


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