LAGAWE, Ifugao– The provincial government will first conduct consultations with the different municipal governments and tourism industry stakeholders in the various tourist destinations in the province to plan out the appropriate strategies to be implemented for the gradual, cautious and safe opening of the local tourism industry possibly by January next year.
Gov. Jerry Dalipog said that no less than Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat met with some Cordillera officials to convey to them the desire of the government to start slowly opening the local tourism industry in the different tourism destinations in the country to help revive the heavily battered economy.
However, he stated the provincial government will have to first consult the local officials and the concerned stakeholders in identified tourist destinations in the province to get their insights on the proposed gradual opening of the tourism industry so that Ifugao will have its own unique strategy in allowing the entry of visitors without compromising the health and safety of both the tourists and the residents.
Dalipog agreed with the contention of Secretary Puyat on the need for local governments to balance the health and safety of their constituents and the economy when deciding whether or not to open up the local tourism industry but there is also a need to put in place the appropriate system suitable in their communities that will guarantee the safety of the visitors and the residents so as not to burden the province’s health care system.
According to him, the provincial and municipal tourism stakeholders have to closely work in the identifying the appropriate system and strategies for the province in the proposed opening of the local tourism industry, but the same has to be done carefully so as not to compromise the health and safety of the people living in the communities hosting the scenic and historic tourist destinations in the province.
Dalipog pointed out Ifugao will probably join the Baguio-Ilocos tourism corridor when tourism industry stakeholders shall have agreed on the appropriate and feasible strategies and systems that will be adopted and enforced when the province’s tourism will be gradually opened early next year to help bring back the vibrance of the economy not only in the province but also in the whole region as well.
Ifugao is one of the premier tourist destinations in the country primarily because of the scenic and historic rice terraces in the different municipalities, apart from other tourist spots such as waterfalls, caves among others that entice nature lovers to visit the said destinations.
The governor called on visitors wanting to visit the tourist destinations in the province to await the guidelines in the possible opening of the local tourism industry as what is being primarily considered in rendering a difficult decision on the matter is the protection of both the visitors and the residents from contracting the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
He also said that the provincial tourism office will study the viability of the online registration platform for the province as one of the systems that may be adopted before the opening of the local tourism industry by January. By HENT