Baguio as a ‘Safe Vacation Spot’: The City’s Post-Pandemic Tourism Plans

You might be able to visit Baguio sooner than you think.

After their tourism sector suffered when the coronavirus hit the country, Baguio City will be rebranding itself as a safe vacation spot, according to the city’s mayor Benjamin Magalong. They might even open to tourists as early as September this year.

 

How it was before the pandemic

Baguio

Photo by Carmela Asistio on Unsplash

Prior to the lockdown, Baguio saw up to 500,000 tourists whenever there were events like the Panagbenga Flower Festival. Summer would also see a spike in visitors as people from the lowlands longed for the cool weather of the mountains. Families spending a vacation together, friends on a road trip, foreigners who want to escape the heat of the cities down below — all of these were part of the tourist crowd the city consistently drew in.

 

What to expect post-lockdown

However, with the social distancing requirements because of the pandemic, Baguio will only accept about a tenth of their original tourist crowd — which means just about 50,000. Magalong says the city may increase this number gradually given that the local government has “learn[ed] the dynamics.”

Due to the pandemic, the city lost more than a billion in revenues, and small businesses have been suffering. To combat this, the local government is planning tourism programs, while an initial PHP 100-million stimulus package will be used largely to help micro and small businesses.

 

A safe vacation spot

The rebranding of the city comes with the implementation of health standards to comply with the requirements of a world riddled with coronavirus. The number of visitors would be limited to as low as 50,000 by requiring travel passes. “It’s just like applying for a visa,” the mayor said.

The travel passes must be presented at a checkpoint, and visitors would be required to go through two levels of medical triage to show they are in good health before being allowed entry into the city.

At the moment, Baguio City only has a recorded total of 43 patients who tested positive for COVID-19, with only seven being active cases.

 

What you can do when you get there

There are a lot of things you can do in the Summer Capital of the Philippines, but all of these are, of course, subject to the new health standards.

Baguio strawberries

Photo by Jett Kalvin on Unsplash

 

What do you think of this new plan? Tell us below!

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Meryl Medel

While the written word would always be her first love, Meryl also finds joy in movies, museums, music, and making her way around the world. When she's not writing or daydreaming about the sea, you can find her either sleeping all day or not at all.