Following the easing of travel restrictions on March 2 across the Philippines at the behest of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), the Baguio online registration for tourist travel saw a surge of registrations.
More than 5,140 registrations in the Baguio VISITA system which is the registration system for inbound tourists have been recorded since then..
However, Tourism Officer Aloysius Mapalo says that while the number of tourist registrations is increasing, the city is still far below its pre-COVID tourism numbers.
“While we are receiving more travel requests through Baguio’s Visita portal, the number is still not even half of our usual tourist arrivals,” Mapalo said.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, Baguio regularly saw some 10,000 or more tourists on regular weekends, with surges of up to 100,000 tourists on special holidays such as Holy Week, Christmas, or Panagbenga.
“It will take time to pick up and we may see larger numbers towards the Holy Week at the end of the month if we will continue with the entry guidelines we have now,” Mapalo added.
Starting on March 2, the IATF has prescribed uniform rules that scrapped the need for travel permits and test results, easing restrictions in provincial travel.
Travelers entering Baguio City need only to register at hdf.baguio.gov.ph and upload an identification to be able to generate a quick response (QR) code. They must also register at visita.baguio.gov.ph and upload valid identification cards.