A STUDY by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) claims that while Baguio has yet to meet its maximum capacity for tourists, its resources are already being stretched too thin for its needs.
Based on the DENR’s Watershed and Water Resources Research Development and Extension Center (WWRRDEC) computation of the city’s tourism threshold of 2,215,141 guests each year, the city, which saw 1.53 million tourists in 2019, can accommodate some more 679,683 guests.
However, the WWRRDEC said that the city must make trips more expensive as the city’s roads and water supplies are now insufficient for its residents.
WWRRDEC head Helen Madumba said that most roads leading to 12 tourist spots examined by the study have reached maximum transport carrying capacity, with a deficit of 325.78 kilometers per individual according to the study, indicating that the lack of roads will cause worsening congestion and air pollution.
The DENR also studied the city’s “irritation index” and concluded that growing antagonism from residents towards tourists may influence the city’s focus on the tourism industry moving forward.
According to the study, the DENR saw that the capacity of the city was some 57,063 households, but as early as 2015, nearly 90,000 households were already recorded.
Madumba added that the Baguio tourism industry has exceeded its threshold for tourism structures by 1,444 structures, but declined to reveal the full number of such facilities during the conduct of the study, suggesting the regulation of future tourism structures.
Meanwhile, the DENR found that the city has some 2.5 million trees remaining in its territory and jurisdiction, including the half million Benguet pines at Camp John Hay, Forbes Park and Fort del Pilar of the Philippine Military Academy.