City Tourism Officer Aloysius Mapalo, in a Kapihan media forum here, affirmed the readiness of Baguio to receive local tourists from the Ilocos Region with health and safety mechanisms in place to ensure minimum exposure for both tourists and the city folks.
Mapalo shared that Baguio’s online system – VISITA (Visitors Information and Travel Assistance) has opened registration since September 22. To date, there are already 487 accounts registration and 66 travel requests with 39 are from Region 1, 18 from NCR, one from Region 2, six from Region 3 and two from Region 4.
Only visitors from Region 1 are allowed come up to Baguio for now and the first visitors approved are set to come up this October 2, Mapalo said.
He clarified that as health and safety precaution against the Coronavirus Disease (COVID – 19), Baguio visitors must have booking on travel agencies or hotels and are only allowed to stay in DOT- certified hotels and with controlled itinerary that include visits to identified parks and DOT- certified commercial centers and food establishments.
We do not allow tourists on the public market and residential areas, but their family and friends (Baguio residents) can visit them in their hotels or within the area in their itinerary, Mapalo said.
Baguio City Police Office Director PCol. Allen Rae Co in the same forum assured that the city police personnel are all set to receive and assist Baguio visitors in checkpoints along Marcos Highway and Naguilian Road. They have to present their approved visitor’s QTP (QR - Coded Tourist Pass), valid IDs and pre - booking accommodation. Only those who have approved travel permits and tourist application are allowed to enter Baguio, he stressed.
Mapalo and Co solicit the support of the Baguio citizens and visitors for the re-opening of the city’s economy in line with the Baguio’s campaign slogan of “Be safe, Be Sure and Be Responsible Tourists”.
For more information on the re-opening of Baguio’s tourism, please visit the facebook pages Baguio Tourism or Baguio Visita. For tourist registration/application, log on to www.visita.gov.ph. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)
By Carlito C. Dar