3 Northern Luzon cities named ‘ASEAN Clean Tourist Cities’

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star
3 Northern Luzon cities named �ASEAN Clean Tourist Cities�
ourists enjoy the shade provided by umbrellas at the Market Encounter area in Baguio City’s Burnham Park ahead of the Panagbenga flower festival’s grand opening parade on Feb. 3.
Andy Zapata

MANILA, Philippines — Three cities in Northern Luzon were recognized as “clean tourist cities” in Southeast Asia.

Baguio City in Benguet, Ilagan City in Isabela and Tabuk City in Kalinga were bestowed the Clean Tourist City awards during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Tourism Standard Awards in Vientiane, Laos last week.

“These are the areas where the flow of visitors and where cultural, natural and/or man-made attractions exist,” the Department of Tourism said in a statement yesterday, citing the ASEAN Tourism Standards.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco handed the plaques to Baguio City tourism officer Alec Mapalo, acting Vice Mayor Lucretina Sarol of Tabuk City and Ilagan City government officials.

Baguio City has received the award three times, twice for Ilagan City and the first time for Tabuk City.?

China-Boracay flights

Meanwhile, tourist destination Boracay will host more flights from China, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Budget airline Royal Air Philippines launched new routes from the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Chengdu and Ningbo in China to Caticlan Airport in Aklan and back, according to DOT Western Visayas.

Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing to Caticlan flights will be held three times a week, while trips from Chengdu to Caticlan will be four times a week.

The Ningbo-Caticlan route will be introduced on Feb. 2 with five flights weekly.

In 2023, the Philippines welcomed 263,836 Chinese tourists, making China the country’s fifth top source of tourists.

From Jan. 1 to 15, Boracay welcomed 83,479 tourists, comprised of 61,768 locals, 2,464 overseas Filipinos and 19,247 foreigners.

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