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La Trinidad laments P100-M tourism losses

Aldwin Quitasol

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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — The Municipality of La Trinidad has been bleeding from its tourism industry losses estimated to be at P100 million since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ) have been imposed.

La Trinidad Municipal Mayor Romeo Salda cited that the estimated losses, which were mentioned a report submitted by the Local Economic and Investments Promotion Office and the town’s tourism office, were coming from non-movement of tourism activities and prohibition of tourism-related businesses in the town.

The biggest losses are coming from the strawberry industry, a usual tourist-drawer as La Trinidad is dubbed the strawberry capital of the country, in which close to 1,000 farmers suffered heavily from the coronavirus pandemic with at least P50 million in earnings lost.

Festivals which usually also contributes to the municipality’s revenues such as the Strawberry Festival, which was supposed to be held on the first week of March, and the Tourism Week that follows right after it, were called off which led to some P5 million in losses.

Tourist sites in the town also recorded P3 to P3.5 million in losses, pay parking areas lost P2.5 to P3 million in income, while three lodging inns recorded around P4 to P5 million total estimated losses.

Losses in transportation, including taxi, tour vans and jeepneys, was estimated to reach P15 million, while around 500 to 600 businesses near tourism areas such as dining, leisure and shopping establishments recorded P10 million losses. Meanwhile, 12 tour operators have lost at least P2 million.

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