LA TRINIDAD, Benguet– The municipal government underscored that the municipality is not yet ready to welcome tourists from places outside the capital town as concerned stakeholders are still working out measures in compliance to standard health protocols that will be enforced.
However, Mayor Romeo K. Salda claimed the town’s selected tourist destinations, such as Mount Costa, Avong nen Romy and Mount Yangbew, are open for local residents.
Additionally, he reported that concerned offices of the municipal government are closely working out the appropriate guidelines to be implemented once the municipal government decides to open existing tourist destinations to interested visitors from outside the municipality but this will surely take some time before being realized because of the prevailing community quarantine.
While it is true that it will be the visitors that will bring back the vibrance of the local tourism industry, Mayor Salda pointed out that the municipal government cannot afford to risk the health and safety of the residents, especially from being exposed to the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) which is now in the midst of the locality awaiting to spread to those who refuse to comply with the prevailing health and safety protocols.
He admitted that the existing health care system in the municipality is limited thus it is difficult to open the town to tourists because there might be incidents that will compromise and affect the overall image of the capital town as one of the preferred tourist destinations in the country.
He added there will be a periodic assessment on the status of the opened existing tourism destinations and the influx of residents to the said spots to ascertain where the municipality needs to improve, especially on the observance of health protocols among the staff and visitors, so that appropriate adjustments could be done to ensure compliance by the public to prevailing community quarantine guidelines.
According to him, the recent professional video and photo shoots conducted by the organizers and contestants of the Miss Universe–Philippines in selected tourist destinations in the municipality greatly contributed in the ongoing efforts to aggressively promote the existing tourist spots in preparation for the possible opening of the town’s destinations to visitors from outside the municipality.
He urged municipal tourism industry stakeholders to be patient in awaiting the decision of the municipal inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases on when the municipality will be opened to visitors coming from outside the locality because the same must undergo the appropriate evaluation and assessment to ensure the readiness of the destinations on the practice of health protocols and community quarantine guidelines.
La Trinidad is one of the most frequented places outside Baguio City because of the presence of scenic trekking destinations aside from the strawberry and cutflower farms that entice people to visit the said spots. By Hent