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SAGADA, Mountain Province – The municipal government and concerned local tourism industry stakeholders will conduct a dry run on the newly established online visitor registration system to ascertain its readiness in time for the possible opening of tourism in the municipality by September 2021.
However, Mayor James Pooten claimed that only outdoor tourism activities will be allowed once there will be a go-signal for the local government to open tourism-related activities while caving and mass gatherings will not yet be allowed.
He disclosed that the dry run of the town’s online registration system will be done on a limited basis and that there were already identified potential registrants to ascertain the system’s readiness once tourism-related activities will be allowed to open with strict adherence to the implementation of the minimum public health standards.
The local chief executive stated that one of the salient features of the newly established online registration system is that prospective registrants can see for themselves the number of visitors that have registered and if the capacity of the municipality has already been reached for their chosen day of visit to the locality.
Sagada is one of the most frequented tourist destinations in the Cordillera primarily because of its cool weather, aside from the scenic outdoor tourist spots, challenging trekking, the enjoyable caving journey, among others.
Mayor Pooten stipulated that the municipal inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases, in close coordination with local tourism industry stakeholders, are now working on the final details of the proposed online visitor registration right in time for the conduct of the dry run and the eventual opening of the town’s tourism industry for visitors.
According to him, the task force and the tourism industry sectors are also working on the final requirements to be imposed on prospective visitors to align these with the guidelines crafted by the concerned government agencies and the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases.
He pointed out that at this point in time, foreign and domestic tourists are not yet allowed entry to the municipality because tourism-related activities are not yet allowed as per the decision of the municipal inter-agency task force as the same is in conformity with the prevailing restrictions imposed by the national government.
Pooten admitted that this COVID-19 pandemic which has been affecting the whole world for over a year now has heavily impacted the local tourism industry which is the primary source of income of a significant number of the local population, but the people have remained resilient and have coped with the serious negative effects of the virus to their employment opportunities and economic activities. By HENT