Five major projects on art and culture in Baguio will be funded by Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), an attached corporation of the Department of Tourism.
This was announced by DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat in her keynote speech during the 111th Baguio Charter Day anniversary program on September 1, 2020.
While the amount of the funding remain undisclosed, Puyat said the TPB Chief Operating Officer Anthonette Velasco-Allones has committed to fund programs that will spur the recovery of the tourism industry in Baguio in collaboration with the city government and the Baguio City Tourism Council (BCTC).
The five projects are: (1) setting up of the baguiocreativecity.com website and e-commerce platform; (2) reviving Baguio’s weaving and fashion industry; (3) the multi-platform digital monitoring application Baguio V.I.S.I.T.A.; (4) sponsorship of a photo contest; and, (5) establishment of Baguio Re-Branding Marketing & Promotional Projects.
In 2017, Baguio City was designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as one of its Creative Cities Network on the field of Crafts and Folk Art in recognition to the vibrant art and culture industry such as woodcarving, silver craft, weaving and tattooing, among others.
In support to art and culture, Puyat said the DOT has put together a task force to focus on domestic tourism headed by Intramuros Administrator Guiller Asido. The task force will identify key indicators when a destination is ready, including the willingness and full support of local leaders and communities, and the capacity to handle health emergencies.
“The Task Force is now conceptualizing and developing new products and other tourism-related products and programs that will enhance tourism sites and facilities for the domestic market, all in alignment with the objectives of the Tourism Response and Recovery Program,” Puyat explained.
These initiatives, she said, are part of her agency’s core advocacy for sustainable tourism.
“We have and will continue to ensure that policies are in place for the protection of environment and local community,” Puyat assured.
The pandemic, she said, had given Baguio an opportunity to refocus on sustainable and responsible tourism, taking into account the quality rather than the quantity of tourists entering the iconic Baguio as an important cultural and creative center. – Jessa Mardy Samidan