BAUKO, Mountain Province – Mayor Abraham B. Akilit said that the local government will continue to bank on tourism as one of the town’s major economic driver because of the bright prospects of the tourism industry not only in the locality but also in other parts of the world.
Akilit, during his State of the Municipality Address, underscored that the town is endowed with the rich culture and scenic beauty of the environment worth visiting that is why the local government capitalized on it to pursue a comprehensive tourism development plan for the benefit of sustainable economic growth.
Bauko recorded an average increase in tourist arrivals of 7,908 annually since 2013 until last year wherein 89 percent are said to be domestic tourists, 6 percent are tourists from Asia, 4 percent from Japan, South Korea and Europe, 1 percent from Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Canada and United States among others.
He noted that a domestic tourist spends more or less P499 daily for food, lodging among other needs exclusive of fare, guide fee and other fees that will be spent during their visit to the tourist spots.
On the other hand, a foreign tourist spends approximately $50 or more than P2,400 daily for their needs when spending a vacation in the country.
“Bauko’s sustainable economic growth could be realized once foreign and domestic tourists will flock to the different tourism destinations in the locality,” Akiit stressed.
The municipal mayor claimed 61 percent of the tourists who visit Bauko want the place because of the rich culture and traditions followed by those who love the scenic tourist spots like the rice terraces waterfalls and the celebration of festivals like the Begnas di Bauko and Lepas festivals and 26 percent of the visitors come to Bauko for their health needs because of the presence of the Luis Hora Regional Memorial Hospital followed by holidays at 5 percent, education, researches and educational tours – 3 percent and conferences and conventions – 3 percent.
According to him, there are 4 homestay and hotel facilities in the municipality wherein 3 of them are accredited by the Department of Tourism while there are 6 DOT-accredited refreshment centers and restaurants.
Based on a study conducted by the local government, Akilit disclosed that tourists stay in the municipality for a maximum of 36 hours which could likely increase once the appropriate facilities will be put in place by both the government and the private sectors who need to work together to achieve the overall goal of improving the local tourism industry.
He emphasized the local government helped worked out the necessary trainings for tourist guides, those working in homestay establishments and other tourism-related establishments to help them improve their skills on how to deal with the various needs of the visitors once they will be in the municipality for a prolonged visit.
He appealed to the people to support the aggressive promotion of the town as one of the preferred tourist destination in the province considering that it serves as a gateway to the other famous tourist destinations not only in the province but also in nearby provinces.