Aside from Baguio City, the issue of traffic congestion has started to affect La Trinidad, Benguet as it continues to draw interest from tourists.
During the 4th quarter of 2019, around 322,000 tourists came to the strawberry farms in the capital town either for fruit picking or simply to take photos.
The figure was based on the vehicles that arrived in the parking area managed by the local government unit and the report from the Benguet State University.
However, La Trinidad tourism officer Valred Olsim said that around 240,000 tourists visited the strawberry farms during the Christmas and New Year break alone.
According to Olsim, the challenge now for La Trinindad is to come up with a solution to ease the traffic congestion and to also find larger parking areas to accommodate the increased number of vehicles.
“We have to accept the fact that La Trinidad was built with no urban planning and was not designed to accommodate a large volume of tourists,” he admitted.
La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda said visiting strawberry farms is part of some Baguio City tourists’ itinerary, saying their tour wouldn’t be complete without it. The boom in tourism in La Trinidad inevitably resulted in traffic gridlock and congestion at the farms.
According to Olsim, the capital town of Benguet is now looking for long-term solutions such as expanding roads and opening additional parking areas. – Artemio Dumlao