Lesser tourists recorded during election campaign period
by Joseph B Zambrano
Baguio City (1 May) -- The forthcoming election has apparently slacken the tourism industry with many people busy supporting their political candidates rather than going on vacation.
Anthony de Leon, general manager of Baguio Country Club and Chairman of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB) said that tourists arrival in the city is lower compared to summer time last year.
"We have decrease hotel occupancy of 15 to 20 percent compared to last year," De Leon added.
Politics has somehow manipulated the attitude of the tourists. They have this way of thinking of wait and see who will be the elected leaders. They rather stay in their respective places during the election period and observe what is happening in the political arena. They are saving and will spend for vacation in the later part of this year, De Leon said.
On the other hand, Baguio City Tourism Officer Benny Alhambra said that with the dollar-peso exchange rate going down, people whose trips are funded by relatives abroad would rather save than spending for trip or a summer break.
But with the El Niņo phenomenon which makes the environment warm especially in the low lands, many people come up to Baguio to escape the heat, Alhambra said.
Long weekends in line with holiday economics of President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo will encourage tourists especially those who are working to come up to the city, Alhambra said.
Tourism Regional Director Pura Molintas is inviting tourists to come up to the Cordilleras as there are a lot of festivals and big sports events scheduled after elections and before the opening of classes. (PIA-CAR) [top]