The Department of Tourism on Jan. 10, 2020 said sustainable tourism can still be achieved in Baguio City, which experiences year-round issues like traffic and pollution attributed by locals to constant, high numbers of tourists arrivals.
DOT/Released
There's hope for sustainable tourism in Baguio, says DOT
Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - January 11, 2020 - 10:50am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism said sustainable tourism can still be achieved in Baguio City, which experiences year-round issues like traffic and pollution attributed by locals to constant, high numbers of tourists arrivals.

“Serious concerns have been raised over the city’s seemingly unabated urban development and overtourism, leading to big city problems like traffic, overcrowding, water shortages, and growing pollution. But there is hope on the horizon,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a Saturday release.

The DOT, along with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, convened in Baguio City as an inter-agency task force to discuss updates on the city’s rehabilitation program.

“Just like our previous collective efforts have demonstrated, rehabilitation is possible when done properly and when everyone is convinced of the merits of sustainable tourism development. The current thrust of the DOT is to encourage everyone to #SaveOurSpots, instilling the culture of responsible tourism and greater concern for our environment,” Puyat said.

At present, the City of Pines has an estimated population of 370,000. However, it posted nearly 800,000 tourist arrivals in just the first three quarters of 2019 alone.

“One of the main issues to be addressed is determining the carrying capacity of the city,” the tourism department said.

“This means establishing the ideal number of visitors that can be accommodated without harming or affecting the environment while meeting the expectations of the visitors and respecting the needs and preserving the culture of the locals.”

The DOT and its investment arm, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, will undertake the rehabilitation of Burnham Park with an earmarked budget of P480 million.

The said budget, according to the signed Memorandum of Agreement, will be allocated to various works (landscaping, lighting and electrical), hardscape and softscape, construction of view deck and boat docking, installation of terrace planters, view deck renovation, plant box improvement for the Burnham Lake, gazebo and restroom construction, and installation of equipment for the children's playground.

The Tourism secretary said rehabilitating the summer capital of the Philippines entails improving premiere tourist spots, reviving and preserving the city's ecological health, proper land use and zoning, the building of sewerage and treatment plant, enhancement of street lights and pedestrian areas, building efficient road networks, and modernizing transport.

“This is just the beginning. In future months, it is my sincere hope that more sustainable tourism plans will be threshed out and implemented, so the city of Baguio can establish itself as another shining beacon of sustainable development while recapturing all of its former glory,” Puyat said.

Related video:

BAGUIO BAGUIO CITY BURNHAM PARK DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM DOT TOURISM
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