The Department of Tourism (DOT) – Cordillera said Friday it has begun its campaign to encourage more tourists to return to the region after restrictions brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic have been relaxed.
“We are ready to put Cordillera out there. We have been waiting for this, to announce the opening and re-launch of the region as a destination,” Jovita Ganongan, DOT-Cordillera director, said during a press conference here.
Ganongan said they spent the lockdown period improving their facilities, tidying up tourist spots, integrating safety guidelines, and further capacitating tourism workers.
“We know that the lockdown was temporary and soon the world will open up and resume activities so we have to prepare. We put out our destinations so that the people will include them in the bucket list,” she said.
Activities and training were conducted for accommodation establishments, restaurants, travel and tour group, promoters, tour guides, food servers and handlers, establishment front-line personnel, local government tourism officers, and others who will be attending to the tourists.
There was also value-adding training to increase the importance of a commodity or location aside from giving entertainment or joy.
“We had to continue increasing the standards and quality of the workers because the competition does not stop,” Ganongan said.
She said they also introduced virtual guided tours during the lockdown to encourage tourists to visit the destination in-person once restrictions are lifted.
Ganongan said Baguio City has continued to record high tourism arrivals this year but pre-pandemic numbers have yet to be reached.
Pre-pandemic, Cordillera recorded an annual average of 2.28 million tourists, which dropped by 83 percent in 2020 and further went down by 24.75 percent in 2021. (PNA)