dot tieza tourist rest area groundbreaking baguio city, photo by volts gabrillo

DOT’s First Tourist Rest Area in Luzon Broke Ground in Baguio City

A groundbreaking ceremony was held along Kennon Road following a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing at the Baguio Country Club. The first Tourist Rest Area (TRA) in Luzon is going to rise in the City of Baguio.

“The Tourist Rest Area addresses one of the most basic components of every person’s journey — clean and decent restrooms. The TRA will also have a tourist information center as well as a pasalubong center,” Secretary Garcia-Frasco said.

The MOA was entered into and between the Department of Tourism (DOT) led by Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco, the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) through its Chief Operating Officer Mark Lapid, and the City of Baguio through Mayor Benjie Magalong along with Congressman Mark Go (represented by Mrs. Soledad Go) and Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan (represented by City Legal Officer Atty. Richard Dayag).

One of the Seven-Point Objectives of the DOT is to Enhance the Overall Tourist Experience, wherein the TRA is one of its key components. “The intention is to give our tourists convenience as they go along their journey understanding that the experience is not only at the destination itself but very much also the journey itself,” she added.

Expressing her support for the city’s efforts related to its tourism industry, the secretary stated, “We at the Department of Tourism recognize the value that Baguio City brings not only in terms of your physical destinations but more importantly, in the intangible cultural heritage that you have so very well preserved in this part of the Philippines. Hence, we are here to manifest our full support.”

In an interview, Mayor Benjie claimed that tourist arrivals in Baguio has surpassed pre-pandemic figures, even during off-peak months. He told that the TRA will not only benefit travelers but also the locals as it will serve as an avenue to sell their products.

When asked about the maintenance and sustainability of the TRA, the mayor said, “Talagang gagawin naming standard kasi mayroon tayong Key Performance Indicators. Kailangan mapantayan rin namin yun for us to be able to avail of grants or support from the Department of Tourism. Kaya kailangan namin talagang i-sustain yung kagandahan ng tourist area na ito.”