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SAGADA, Mountain Province – The municipal government will be imposing the mandatory online registration of foreign and domestic tourists wanting to visit the scenic destinations in the municipality once the inter-agency task force for the management of emerging infectious diseases will allow the conduct of tourism activities in the different parts of the country in the future.
However, Mayor James Pooten II stated that what is currently allowed in the municipality is inter-barangay visits of the desired tourist destinations but inter-municipal, inter-provincial and inter-regional tourism is not yet allowed.
While tourism is not yet allowed, he pointed out that local tourism stakeholders are preparing themselves on the implementation of new regulations governing the conduct of tourism activities by undergoing the required trainings being conducted by the tourism department in preparation for the eventual opening of tourism to help revive the heavily impacted sector because Sagada is one of the premier tourist destinations in the country.
Initially, the local chief executive disclosed that inn keepers underwent a number of trainings on the proposed new set up of accommodation facilities to comply with the prescribed standards to ensure their adherence to the implementation of the basic health and safety protocols to prevent the said establishments from being the source of the spread of the dreaded Corona virus Disease (COVID) 2019.
According to him local tourist guides are also being required by the tourism department to undergo trainings on eco-guiding that will help in improving their skills and knowledge which they will be able to use once tourism-related activities will be allowed by the higher authorities.
The municipal mayor stipulated that the members of the municipal inter-agency task force will be meeting to discuss the appropriate strategies that will be undertaken to help in preparing the tourism stakeholders to be ready for the possible opening of the tourism-related activities once existing community quarantine restrictions will be relaxed because of the continuous decline of COVID cases over the past several weeks.
He said that COVID cases in the municipality dropped to single digit while half of the active cases are undergoing home isolation because they are either asymptomatic or possess mild symptoms.
Mayor Pooten explained that the local government is awaiting the guidance of the tourism department and the national task force on the conduct of tourism-related activities that will be instrumental in reviving the heavily impacted economy that had been impacted by the ongoing pandemic.
Sagada is one of the favorite tourist destination of foreign and domestic tourists wanting to enjoy natural sceneries such as the caves and other attractions inherent to the town’s environment.
Pooten called on the local tourism industry stakeholders to await the decision of the national task force on the fate of the tourism-related activities because there are now ongoing efforts to gradually and safely allow the resumption of tourism in various parts of the country to allow the affected businesses to recover.