BAGUIO CITY – The reimposition of stringent entry protocols such as swab testing for tourists and the temporary ban on visitors from the National Capital Region (NCR) and its neighboring provinces caused Baguio City’s tourism figures to plummet in recent weeks.
Baguio City Tourism Operations chief Aloysius Mapalo noted that since testing was required anew, many visitors who had prior online registrations did not push through with their trips anymore.
Last weekend, only 1,149 out of the 5,240 or 22 percent of those who registered arrived.
“Almost 80 percent did not come,” lamented Mapalo.
The official further stated that they expect more downtrend in visitor arrivals this coming Holy Week with the imposition of entry restrictions on tourists from the NCR+ areas who comprise 50 percent of the registrants.
“It’s expected that all registrants from NCR and parts of Regions 3 and 4A or around 50 percent of the total registrants will already not come. Then, remove the percentage of non-arrivals as seen from past data which is 46 percent,” he said.
“For March 26 to Holy Week, including Easter, the total number of registrants is 12,437. Remove 50 percent of that, we have 6,219. If only 46 percent will arrive from what’s left, we can expect only 2,861 for the next 10 days,” he added.
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong earlier said that the testing requirement was reimposed to maintain infection control amid the uptick in coronavirus disease cases and the threat of the more infectious variants.
On the NCR Plus restriction, he said the city had to make the necessary adjustments and abide by Resolution No.104 of the Inter-Agency Task Force even if it will deal a big impact on its bid to reboot Baguio City’s tourism industry.
“This is one way of controlling mobility which we had to do because our cases went up by as much as 100 percent in the past weeks,” Magalong noted as he appealed for understanding from residents and tourists affected by the changes in protocols.
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