More time, data needed to determine Baguio’s tourist cap

Artemio Dumlao - The Philippine Star

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — The city government wants more time and data before deciding on the number of tourists that will be allowed to enter Baguio.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the figures they have at the moment are not enough to be used as basis in determining the number of visitors.

“Baka hilaw, baka kulang. We make sure that we have sufficient data before we analyze and evaluate. This way we can come up with the right decision,” Magalong said.

The baseline number of tourists for the study was set at 20,000 per day, but daily tourist arrivals have been reaching only 8,000 to 9,000 during the previous days.

“It is not enough basis for our study. We need to hit a range of 15,000 to 20,000 consistently for us to have relevant data... that’s why we need more time,” Magalog said.

He said the city needed to limit the number of visitors in order to achieve a new normal sustainable tourism.

Magalong said they wanted to avoid the effects of overtourism as well as ensure the comfort, health and safety of both the residents and visitors.

The 20,000 baseline was set after the city logged the number of visitors during the last week of February.

Assessment on vehicle and human traffic movement turned out encouraging, Magalong said.

The study uses parame-ters on traffic and crowd movement manageability as well as air quality.

Magalong said the current number of tourists is expected as the tourism industry is just starting to pick up.

“Another cause is the current high cost of fuel, which makes travel expenses prohibitive,” he said.

As for entry protocols, city tourism officer Alec Mapalo said they needed to maintain requirements such as registration to monitor arrivals, proof of vaccination and negative test results to ensure health protection.


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