City doors to remain closed until NCR, Central Luzon flatten COVID-19 curve

20 July 2020 – Allaying fears Baguio is willing to risk the health of its residents to revive its tourism-based economy, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong last week declared city doors will remain closed until the National Capital Region, Region III and Region IV stifles spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The assurance came in the heels of a presentation on the Baguio Visitors Management System (BVMS) by City Tourism Officer Aloysius Mapalo.
This, as the city maps out strategies, if and when local tourism is given the greenlight, prospectively in September.
The mayor noted, almost 45-percent of tourists come from Regions 3, 4 and the country’s capital based on a survey, September 2018 to April 2019.
Most of the city’s visitors hail from Aurora Province, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales in Region 3; Calamba in Laguna, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon in Region 4; and, parts of Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, Mapalo said the BVMS is essentially a tourist tracking system which aids in thwarting spread of COVID-19 right from the city’s boarders, while ensuring income derived from use of various city amenities; traffic administration; and, environment management.
It likewise renders a database for purposes of contact-tracing even before prospective visitors manage to roam the city under monitored conditions.
On the other hand, BVMS provides cashless transactions; scheduled travels and stops; ready and accredited transport services; and, ease of travel, among others, which provide tourists added sense of health security.
Mapalo is due to present a more detailed report on the BVMS, August 11.**Julie G. Fianza

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