All photos by Mau Victa for Rappler
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – The coronavirus pandemic emptied tourist destinations in Baguio City in Northern Luzon, a traditional Holy Week destination for many Filipinos.
The city was always bursting with tourists at this time, but coronavirus turned the city into a ghost town.
Tourist favorites Burnham Park, Mines View, Wright Park, Botanical Park, and the Baguio Cathedral were empty.
Baguio is also dubbed the “Summer Capital” of the Philippines due to its cooler temperatures.
“March to May is usually Baguio’s peak season for tourist arrivals, and these are the hardest-hit months of enhanced community quaratine,” said City Tourism Officer Aloysius Mapalo said in a post on her Facebook page.
Aloysius said the losses amount to around P375 million for the month of April alone, based on tourist arrival last year and the average spending of P2,700 per tourist.
“That’s only the economy above ground. A big chunk of tourism revenue is an underground economy,” she said.
The pandemic also cancelled the 2020 Panagbenga flower festival, a bigger crowd drawer in the month of February.
The city recorded a total of 14 coronavirus infections since the outbreak of the disease, but its aggressive quarantine measures appear to be showing effective results this early. There had been no new case reported in the past 10 days. (READ: In Baguio, coronavirus cases name themselves to warn others) – Rappler.com