BAGUIO CITY – Stakeholders of the local tourism industry disclosed that their losses could reach up to P70 million following the postponement of the major highlights of the 25th edition of the Panagbenga or the Baguio flower festival.
Anthony de Leon, general manager of the Baguio Country Club, revealed that for the only exclusive club in the city, their losses in terms of cancellations of reservations among other related income reached up to P10 million due to the announced postponement of the Panagbenga major events.
However, he pointed out that stakeholders of the local tourisms industry are pinning their hopes that the re-scheduled activities of the Panagbenga will help in drawing back the tourists that have cancelled their reservations in the different accommodation facilities in the city.
For his part, Ramon Cabrera, general manager of the Camp John Hay Manor, stated that more than P2 million worth of cancelled reservations had been recorded by both the Manor and the Forest Lodge when the postponement of the Panagbenga major events was made by both the local government and the organizers.
Foreign and domestic visitors that made early reservations in the different hotels and transient houses in the different parts of the city purposely for them to witness the conduct of the grand streetdancing and grand float parades and other privately organized events started cancelling their reservations because of the postponement of the Panagbenga events due to the Corona Virus Disease (COVID) scare.
Exhibitors at the Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition within the Baguio Convention Center recently complained on the reported lack of patronage of their products due to the COVID scare and expressed optimism that they will be able to bounce back from the current slump that they are experiencing for them to be able to recover their investments to allow them to participate in the month-long exhibition.
Both de Leon and Cabrera remained optimistic that the current slump in the city’s tourism industry will be temporary considering that even other tourism industry stakeholders in other parts of the country are experiencing cancellations in reservations, especially by foreign tourists who are affected by the travel ban imposed to some countries by the government as a preventive measure to abate the possible spread of the COVID in the country.
The two stalwarts of the local tourism industry expressed confidence that the expected influx of domestic tourists during the conduct of the flower festival main events will be able to compliment the cancelled reservations of foreign visitors who were supposed to witness the grand streetdancing parade and grand float parade in their original schedules.
Local officials and Panagbenga organizers agreed to re-schedule the Panagbenga grand opening parade on March 21, 2020, the grand streetdancing parade on March 28, 2020, the grand float parade on March 29, 2020 and the week-long Session road in Bloom on March 30 to April 5, 2020 to allow residents and tourists to witness the world-class performances of participating contingents and well-decorated floats.
The Panagbenga closing ceremony and grand fireworks display will be held on Palm “Sunday, April 5, 2020 at the Baguio Athletic Bowl.