Tourism industry management pushed in BLISTT

March 27, 2015 2:42 am 

BAGUIO CITY, March 26 — The tourism industry in Baguio City and the Cordillera Region must be managed to avoid deterioration in the next couple of years, thus the cooperation between the government and private sector is essential.

Baguio Flower Festival Foundation, Inc. (BFFFI) Executive Committee Chairman Anthony De Leon, in an interview on Thursday, March 26, said the local government units (LGUs), the government line agencies (GLA) and the private sector should work together in promoting tourism potentials to make the tourism industry in the BLISTT (Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba and Tublay), the Cordillera region and North Luzon stronger.

De Leon said managing the tourism industry would mean implementing programs and projects in place to save BLISTT area, citing the "Walk Happy Baguio City" project launched by the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) in February.

The project, De Leon said, is inviting local and foreign tourists to walk or ride a bicycle around Baguio City instead of using a private vehicle or the public utility vehicles (PUVs).

“As a former Vice President of Tourism Congress of the Philippines, it has always been our advocacy that we should promote events and destination to achieve the 10 million visitors by 2016 as programmed by the Department of Tourism (DOT),” said De Leon.

De Leon, who chairs the Baguio Tourism Council (BTC), said that it is important that there is a strong partnership in promoting tourism, “because our objective is not merely promoting Baguio City but the Cordilleras”.

De Leon said the BTC and HRAB, which he also chairs, is lobbying with the national government for the resumption of commercial flights at the Loakan Airport.

He explained that although the new roads leading to Baguio particularly the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) has reduced travel time from Manila to Baguio for more than an hour, it is an advantage to have an airport to make destinations competitive.

He added that the one reason the organizers of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit did not consider Baguio as a venue is the lack of commercial flights at the airport.

The APEC Summit would have been a big tourism booster, De Leon said. (PNA)

LAP/JOJO LAMARIA

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