Mandatory online registration for tourists e ntering Baguio proposed

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The Baguio City Council has approved on first reading a proposed ordinance mandating all tourists, excursionists, pilgrims, and same day visitors to register to the Baguio Visitors Information and Travel Assistance (Baguio VISITA) and secure a VISITA Pass (VPass) before entering the city.
According to the proposed ordinance authored by Councilors Lilia Farinas, Elmer Datuin, and Vladimir Cayabas, the mandatory online registration of visitors in the city would aid the city government in generating tourism-related data to be able to determine the economic and social impact of tourism to the city.
Under the said ordinance, online registration shall be mandatory for all overnight and/or even guests of accommodation establishments; attendees of meetings, conventions, and exhibitions, and other organized social, business, educational, and adventure/sports events; passengers of provincial Transport Network Services (TVNS), tourists transport services, and other public convenience plying to and from the city; participants of organized city tours; and visitors going to the city’s tourist attractions.
Managers, organizers, or operators of the aforementioned activities, services, enterprises, and venues shall check the registration of their guests or participants by validating the latter’s VPasses to be presented either in an e-copy or hard copy form.
According to the ordinance, online registration shall be encouraged but not mandatory for guests and visitors of secondary tourism enterprises (STEs) such as but not limited to restaurants and bars, department stores, gas stations and motor services, hospitals, and shopping malls.
Members of the Baguio City police Office shall be authorized to randomly check in plain view all vehicles carrying tourists, excursionists, pilgrims, and same day visitors if they have VPasses; if otherwise, they shall be required to register to Baguio VISITA.
The barangay officials shall likewise be enjoined to monitor the compliance with the ordinance of all tourism-oriented and tourism-related establishments and facilities within their respective jurisdictions.
The proposed ordinance has been referred to the city council’s Committee on Tourism, Special Events, Parks, and Playgrounds. **Jordan G. Habbiling


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