Mayor Benjamin Magalong said today that he is looking into the possibility of allowing tourists from nearby areas to enter Baguio City, in a bid to revive the summer capital’s tourism industry.
“[O]n Sept. 1, the governors of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and La Union will be here so we can talk about bubble tourism. We’re calling it ridge and reef, from the mountainside to the coastline. [Tourism] Secretary Bernadette Puyat will also be here to preside over the meeting,” he said in English and Filipino.
Magalong said that tourists from Metro Manila might be allowed to visit the city in the future, but Baguio City Hall first needs to conduct a “pilot test” with the residents of the said provinces. Tourists will be tested for COVID-19 using an antigen that could provide results in as fast as 15 minutes. However, the said test has yet to be approved by the Department of Health.
Baguio City has suffered losses of at least PHP1.6 billion (US$32.8 million) in gross revenues from April to June due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, Magalong said, citing a study conducted by the city’s Hotel and Restaurant Association.
The city is currently under the general community quarantine. As of yesterday, Baguio has 297 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 8 deaths and 224 recoveries.
Fast. Funny. Digital. We produce creativity that delights and influences customers. Join forces with us to slay buzzwords, rise above the noise, and sow the seeds of something great.