BAUKO, Mountain Province April 13 – The municipal government here wants to establish a sisterhood relationship with the municipality of Sagada in order to contribute in enhancing the local tourism industry which has been projected as one of the town’s economic driver in the future.
Mayor Abraham B. Akilit already made the formal offer to Mayor Eduardo Latawan, Jr. so that the two neighboring municipalities will be able to adopt a comprehensive tourism plan that will contribute in boosting tourism arrivals in the two localities, especially with the upcoming completion of major tourism road linkages in the coming months.
“The completion of major road networks in the province will definitely attract the influx of more foreign and domestic tourists to visit our place and see for themselves undiscovered sceneries worthy of keeping our visitors coming in the future,”Akilit stressed.
He claimed visitors from Baguio City and Ilocos areas could drop by the municipality to witness various tourist and trekking destinations before taking the short route, the Abatan-Bagnen, Sagada road, which is a 21-kilometer road just to reach their final destination in Sagada, while visitors from Banaue, Ifugao who visit Sagada can drop by the municipality through the shortcut route before exiting in either Baguio City or the Ilocos area.
According to him, appropriate advisories were issued by the municipal government to barangay officials and residents near potential tourist destinations to prepare for the expected influx of visitors and be ready to offer their places for homestay among others which would be beneficial in improving the living condition of the people once visitors start to flock to the trekking and other scenic destinations in the locality.
Bauko has a total land area of nearly 18,000 hectares with a population of over 34,000 inhabitants spread over the town’s 22 barangays characterized by towering and majestic mountains, suitable for trekking sites, Spanish trails and various sceneries that would serve as complimentary sites to that of the famous caves and rice terraces in nearby Sagada town.
Akilit said the local government is pushing for the inclusion of the rehabilitation of the Abatan-Bagnen-Sagada road so that visitors could easily reach their desired tourist destinations in a matter of minutes thereby contributing to the expected robust growth in the potential tourist destinations in the province.
Akilit pointed out the municipal government and the barangays must now develop a master plan for their respective areas in preparation for the influx of tourists so that possible developments would not affect the beauty and scenery of the potential destinations in order for tourists to keep coming back to visit the locality.
He disclosed local tourism industry stakeholders were initially given the initial trainings by the concerned government agencies and the local government for them to be able to prepare themselves for the expected boom in the local tourism industry following the completion of major road networks that have now opened the different parts of the province as primary ecotourism destinations.
Mayor Akilit asserted the local government must be able to maximize the potentials of its sceneries so that local residents will have added source of income to sustain their living condition and improve the quality of their life. By Dexter A. See