The city government is implementing traffic-related measures, including rerouting schemes and a vacation lane, as it expects droves of tourists this month until early next year.
The Baguio City Police Office Traffic Enforcement Unit and the City Engineering Office Traffic and Transportation Management Division are on top of the situation, coming off a similar scenario during the long weekend of Nov. 25 to 27 when at least 80,000 tourists were recorded.
The Bonifacio Day (Nov. 30) holiday was moved to Nov. 27, a Monday.
“Both offices engaged public transport groups from the city and Benguet province to obtain their commitments to continuously provide units, especially during night activities and despite the traffic snarls, to prevent stranded passengers,” City Information Office chief Aileen Refuerzo said in an interview Monday.
Refuerzo said the planned vacation lanes will reduce the number of vehicles using city roads.
“Those who are just passing by the city and are going to the Benguet area, Mountain Province, or Ifugao will be provided alternate routes so that they do not have to pass through the central business district and add up to the number of vehicles, which will be beneficial to them as they do not have to waste time,” she said.
Refuerzo also advised tourists to use public transportation or walk whenever they can to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
She said the city tourism office estimates an average of 80,000 tourists during the weekends of December.
As of October, the city already has 787,572 tourist arrivals for the year.
“The tourist data could be higher as they only include visitors who stayed in the registered accommodation establishments that submitted their occupancy reports. The figures also do not include the day tourists who did not stay in accommodation establishments and those who stayed in accommodation establishments but were unreported,” Refuerzo said.
In 2022, the city welcomed 1,042,309 guests, higher than the 247,480 in 2021 which was still a Covid-19 pandemic year. (PNA)