Baguio City stops accepting new tourist applications


Tourists have often visited Baguio City every February for the Panagbenga flower festival, or during the summertime to cool down in the cold city pre-pandemic. However, both may not be possible for many tourists this year.

Due to rising Covid-19 cases and the threat of the Omicron variant, the Baguio Visitor Information and Travel Assistance (VISITA) will stop accepting tourist applications from 2nd January until further notice, according to city tourism operations supervisor Aloysius Mapalo.


Tourists with approved schedules can still enter


Baguio City - Burnham Park
Burnham Park
Image credit: @therealjeffuy

While the VISITA website has stopped accepting tourists and all pending requests are automatically rejected, people with approved schedules before 2nd January can still push through with their Baguio trips. The city is expecting approved tourists until March.

Of course, official and essential travel to Baguio City will still be allowed. For this, travelers need to register and submit their documents at hdf.baguio.gov.ph and go for triage, which may involve a rapid test.


Rise in Covid-19 cases in Baguio City



The biking area at Burnham Park

Image credit: @therealjeffuy

Baguio City cites the arrival of the Omicron variant in the country as well as the rise of Covid-19 cases in the city as the reasons behind this move.

After the city overcame a surge of Covid-19 cases in September 2021, it re-opened to tourists in November which helped revive the city’s economy.

However, after receiving nearly 200,000 tourists since then, there came a rise of active Covid-19 cases in the city from four on Christmas Day to 73 on Sunday, 2nd January.


Changes could still be made to Baguio City’s travel policies


Those who wish to visit Baguio City for leisure in 2022 shouldn’t lose all hope, though. According to Mapalo, changes may be still be made to Baguio’s travel policies.

To know when the city is reopening applications for leisure travels in 2022, you can follow Baguio Tourism’s Facebook page.

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Cover image adapted from: @therealjeffuy and @therealjeffuy

 

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