BAGUIO City Tourism Officer Alec Mapalo has revealed that despite a shaky start in the year, domestic tourism in the city from outside the region is starting to pick up again.
According to Mapalo, the primary factors leading to the upward trend of tourist arrivals in the city are the easing of travel restrictions from the National Capital Region + area (NCR+), as well as the implementation of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB)-subsidized antigen tests that allow tourists to take the tests in the city at cost.
“With that, we are starting to again attract a lot more tourists, but of course this does not mean that it is the same as pre-pandemic. Our figures are not even close to twenty percent of our pre-pandemic figures,” Mapalo said.
According to Mapalo the city logged zero tourist arrivals starting on March 28 due to restrictions on hotels and accommodation facilities accepting leisure travelers.
However, the endorsement of the Department of Tourism (DOT) of the city’s capacity to start accepting leisure travelers once again and the reopening of hotels and accommodation facilities to tourists started a slow pickup of tourist arrivals in the city.
April, according to Mapalo, was a slow month, with only 500 tourists being logged for the entire month, while May saw some more growth with 2,169 tourists logged.
The major uptick came when the restrictions on the NCR+ area’s leisure travelers were eased, with the first two weeks of June alone seeing 4,378 tourists.
“That simply means that our traditional market is the NCR+ areas. The second region that we most have tourists from are Region 3, and Region 4A,” Mapalo said.
He also said that some hotels in the city are reporting being able to fill up to maximum allowable capacity of 50 percent again after the tourism uptick, for the first time in a long while.