Benguet town limits tourists to save plants, environment

BAGUIO CITY — Atok, home of popular flower gardens, wants to limit tourists flocking into the town, to protect the plants and its environs.

Atok Mayor Raymundo Sarac said around three hundred tourists a day should only be allowed to enter the Northern Blossom gardens. He also said that the same number should only be allowed at Haights Place, another popular flower garden site.

Northern Blossom Flower Farm has been luring thousands of tourists because of its pastel-colored flowers and rose cabbages. The farm also boasts a scenic view of the famous Mt. Pulag as backdrop.

Haight’s Place has also fast risen to popularity because of its colorful flowers and its Sakura Park where Cherry Blossoms from Japan were planted four years ago. Though the Cherry Blossoms trees have yet to mature, tourists have been frequenting the place with excitement.

Sarac said that because of the huge volume of tourists visiting the flower gardens, they had observed that some of the plants are being destroyed, sometimes being stepped on.

He also noted that the soil and the paths going to the said attractions are disturbed affecting the soil’s fertility.

Tourists have flocked again in the town after the lifting of Mayor Sarac’s suspension of tourism activities amid the threat of COVID-19.

The mayor reminded tourists to bring with them hand sanitizers, soap, among others, to ensure health and safety for everyone. He also appealed to them to respect and follow the rules. 

Sarac has also required all tourists to register with the town’s tourism office before going to the tourist areas in Atok. ●

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