Baguio tourism reopens October
The Summer Capital of the Philippines will allow visitors from the Ilocos Regions beginning 1 October.
In a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong Jr. said tourism activities will initially open only to registered “guided tours” for Baguio and North Luzon residents.
DIY (do it yourself) tourists and visitors from other regions, including Metro Manila, are still not allowed.
In line with the most-awaited reopening, Baguio launched Baguio Visitor Information and Travel Assistance (V.I.S.I.T.A.) that will keep track of visitor activities to protect tourists and the communities.
The digital platform will feature account and travel registration, payments, QR (Quick Response) reading, advisories and tourism information, real-time monitoring of visitor profiles, sites visited, requirements and visitor criteria.
Mobile app V.I.S.I.T.A. will have real-time notifications and can be used as a travel guide and assistance portal.
The Department of Tourism (DoT) provided the technology to Baguio through the Tourism Promotions Board in support of the city’s gradual reopening to tourists starting with the Ridge and Reef Corridor Plan.
Under the Ridge to Reef travel bubble, Baguio City will allow 200 visitors per day to prevent overcrowding.
Ilocos Norte will also open Paoay and Pagudpud towns; Ilocos Sur will offer Vigan City; La Union will have Bauang accepting visitors; and Pangasinan’s Manaoag and Bolinao will also be available to tourists.
No stopover is allowed within La Union, Pangasinan and Benguet. Before reaching Baguio, vehicles will pass through Tuba and Sablan towns in Benguet.
DoT Region 1 director Jeff Ortega said indoor museums are still closed for the meantime. However, visitors who wish to visit Ilocos may still enjoy other activities such as sandboarding in Ilocos Norte, surfing in La Union and pilgrimage in Pangasinan.
DoT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that once Metro Manila is placed under the modified general community quarantine, tourists from the National Capital Region will be allowed to enter.
“I am praying for the Ridge and Reef Travel Corridor’s success, as it will prove to local travelers that inter-regional tourism can be done safely, responsibly, and sustainably,” she said. “As confidence in traveling locally grows, we hope to emulate its success in many other areas around the country, giving us valuable momentum for our push towards the tourism industry’s recovery.”
TESTING czar Secretary Vince Dizon and Baguio Mayor and contact tracing head Benjamin Magalong, Jr. lead Biking Day at Burnham Park on Sunday. They covered a total distance of 20 kilometers around the city.