Travel agencies, tour ops to be regulated in Baguio

>> Thursday, August 3, 2017

By Dexter A. See 

BAGUIO CITY – An ordinance regulating operation of travel agencies, tour operators and tour guides in this summer capital was approved on first reading by the city council.
The ordinance by Council Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated no tourism-oriented or related business establishments operate travel agencies, tour operators and tour guides in the city, either domestic or international in scope, without first securing a mayor’s permit and paying the corresponding pre-imposed fees under existing tax ordinances.
The ordinance added among objectives of the measure include promotion and maintenance of a gender-sensitive tourism industry; sustenance, protection and promotion of the rich, collective and diverse cultural heritage that is uniquely Baguio through improved human resources training, allocation and utilization of local travel and tour agencies; regulation of exploration and development of tourist spots and promotion of gender sensitivity among all local and foreign tourists.
It also intends to ensure prospective support for the industry and for the city to forge coordinative undertakings with the various local travel agencies, tour operators and tour guides and to take initiatives to attract tourists in the city, create and develop a comprehensive implementing rules and regulations in partnership with the local travel agencies, tour operators and tour guides and appropriate government agencies; protect every local travel agency, tour operator and tour guides currently operating in the city by securing for them the best possible terms and conditions, including incentives, in their tourism venture; strengthen the network among local and national government agencies and rationalize the participation of various registered government agencies, tours operators and tour guides to serve Baguio’s thrusts and programs and to uphold and sustain the principle of leadership by example and establish mechanisms that will effectively and efficiently ensure Baguio City as a tourism center in the Cordillera and Northern Luzon.
The ordinance added the issued mayor’s permit shall be non-transferrable and shall be valid until the 3st day of December of the same year and the license to operate duly issued by the City Tourism Operations Office to travel agencies, tour operators, and tour guides shall be non-transferrable and shall be valid for the same period as the mayor’s permit.
Yangot said every travel agency shall establish and maintain a principal office in a commercial district within the city and a branch office may be established by any travel agency in the same manner.
He said tourism activities organized and conducted by travel agencies and local tour operators duly accredited, registered and licensed by the city government or those travel agencies and tour operators affiliated with the latter shall be entitled to privileges, incentives and tax exemption upon recommendation of the City Tourism Operations Office and any non-local tour operators shall be subject to the standard mandate such as, but not limited to, registration with the City Tourism Operations Office, accreditation of non-local travel agencies, tour operators and tour guides, including tour coordinators, as well as their tour packages and promotions; certification of approval of the Baguio tour promotional packages and promotions and proper payment of applicable local taxes imposed on any and all tourism activities they operate in the city.


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