DOT lauds Baguio City’s decision to welcome tourists
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Tourism (DOT) has welcomed Baguio City’s decision to accept guests and tourists once more starting October 22 noting that the new influx of visitors will help the local government catalyze its economic recovery.
Baguio’s opening to tourists was announced during the DOT-Baguio Post Opening Assessment held Saturday with Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Representative Mark Go, and the tourism stakeholders of the city.
The new health and safety measures will be finalized together with the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Technical Working Group.
Puyat said that a total of 200 visitors will be allowed per day starting October 22 to ensure proper management.
The digital platform Baguio Visitor and Travel Assistance or VIS.I.T.A already received 2,000 registrations and some 200 travel requests since it was launched on September 22.
Though visitors looking to book their itineraries through a DOT-accredited tour agency is optional, guests are still required to book in a DOT-accredited accommodation establishment that has been issued with a Certificate Authority to Operate.
“Now that we have an actual visitor count, the city has an important reference point and valuable feedback on how to move forward from this initial opening period,” said Puyat.
She added that there has been an increase in Baguio’s capacity in terms of health care systems and isolation centers as well as the addition of trained contact tracers and the creation of a new triage center for tourists at the CAP Convention Center.
“Another positive development can be attributed to the pilot study for antigen testing, which is now in its final stages and may pave the way for use to screen potential visitors,” said Puyat.
“Since this method is cheaper than the RT-PCR, the gold standard for COVID testing, allowing the use of antigen tests, will surely be welcomed by visitors.”
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