87K tourists flock to Baguio for Holy Week

Politics

At least 87,262 tourists arrived here from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday to take advantage of the Holy Week break.

In a message on Wednesday, city tourism officer Aloysius Mapalo said around 45 percent of the tourists stayed in accommodation establishments or hotels for two to three days, while the rest are staying with friends, relatives, or are day visitors.

Data provided by the officer showed that 40,612 tourists arrived on Maundy Thursday; 19,019 arrived on Good Friday; 18,844 arrived on Black Saturday and 8,787 arrived on Easter Sunday.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong, in a separate media interview, on Wednesday said while there were many tourists, the city government was able to manage the arrivals well.

“Akala natin magkakaroon tayo ng tough time itong pagdating ng bisita itong Holy Week. We were expecting na magkaroon ng gridlock, traffic sa places of convergence. Baka hindi maging manageable ang mga bisita natin especially sa mga parks, market natin. Hindi ganun ang nangyari (We thought we were going to have a tough time with the tourist arrivals for Holy Week. We were expecting a gridlock and heavy traffic in places of convergence and that we will not be able to manage our visitors, especially at the parks and the market. But that did not happen.),” he said.

He said traffic became congested in the central business district but not in the outskirts of the city.

Magalong said crowds also built up at the night market but local authorities were able to manage them.

“Except sa night market na naayos naman agad natin, immediately we deployed our PNP (Philippine National Police) personnel and succeeding days nilagyan din natin ng maraming personnel dyan including POSD (Public Order and Safety Division) at nakipag-ugnayan din tayo sa mga block leaders ng ating night market and they were very cooperative (Except at the night market which we were able to immediately address by deploying policemen and the succeeding days we deployed much personnel including the POSD and we also coordinated with the block leaders at the night market who were also cooperative.),” the mayor said.

He also said that traffic congestion was also felt on Marcos Highway, also partially due to the closure of Kennon Road which was hit by a major landslide.

Overall, the official said the observance of the Holy Week in the city was manageable and no major problems were encountered.

He said while they were expecting it, they have yet to see evidence of any increase in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

He said that the city remains to record a low incidence of Covid-19, with zero to one case being logged daily in the last three days.

“Hindi gaanong serious or adverse ang impact (The impact is not so serious or adverse),” the official added.

With their experience managing the Holy Week situation, the mayor said they are mulling on further allowing more tourists into the city.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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