THE Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) on Tuesday said the hotel industry in Baguio is now seeing figures that rival and even exceed pre-pandemic numbers, indicating a rapidly growing tourism scene in the city.
This after the monsoon rains momentarily went into a lull, Mayor Benjie Magalong added.
Andrew Pinero, spokesperson of the HRAB and client relations manager of the only five-star resort in the city, the Baguio Country Club, said accommodation establishments are experiencing high occupancy rates that go beyond even pre-pandemic figures.
Currently, the average monthly hotel occupancy in the city is 80 percent, even higher than the 60 to 65 percent before the pandemic, he said.
He said they have noticed a 15 to 20 percent increase in the average monthly tourist arrivals, based on hotel bookings.
According to Pinero, with the current growth of the accommodations industry, the industry is expected to recover its pandemic losses, originally projected to take at least five years, in three years or less.
During the quarantine period in 2020, the tourism industry posted an estimated PHP1.46 billion in losses. The amount is based on the 540,373 local tourist arrivals from February to May 2019, computed on a daily expenditure of PHP2,700 per person per day.
After several weeks in the doldrums due to incessant monsoon rains and typhoons, the Summer Capital is once again welcoming droves of mostly domestic tourists seeking respite from the searing lowland heat.
“After almost a month na medyo gloomy iyong ating tourism industry, especially aggravated by the flooding at NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) na talagang naka-discourage sa mga turista na umakyat. Pero this weekend, ang daming turistang umakyat ulit nung naayos na iyong flooded areas sa NLEX,” the mayor said in an interview at the city hall on August 14.
He pointed out that the increase in travel time caused by the temporary flooding at the NLEX was one of the factors that deterred visitors, especially coming from the National Capital Region, Region 4, and parts of Region 3, to visit the city.
“This week, nagulat ako talaga na iyong influx ng mga motorista at tourista ay tumaas uli kaagad,” the mayor stressed.
Meanwhile, he announced that all the city’s tourism destinations are already open to the public after the Botanical Garden was temporarily closed due to several trees deemed to be ‘unsafe’ but have already been cleared by the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) under Atty. Rhenan Diwas.
Located about 5,000 feet above sea level with a year-round cool climate, Baguio is known as the country’s Summer Capital, with tourism counted among its leading economic drivers. With reports by Gaby Keith