As the city continues to attract leisure visitors, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has certified…
Baguio creates a 24-hour hotline for inquiries and help for tourists
In order to confirm the reliability of service and lodging providers in this summer capital, the City Tourism Office has established official contact lines that travelers can use.
The city’s tourism officer, Engr. Aloysius Mapalo stated on Tuesday that anyone can check to see if their transaction with a client is connected to a legitimate lodging establishment by calling the 24-hour hotline (074) 446-2009. (AE).
In an interview over the phone, Mapalo stated, “We will coordinate with their preferred AE.”
To determine if they are dealing with a fraudulent or authentic service provider, tourists can also contact or text 0956-572-9097 (7 a.m. – 4 p.m.), 0956-572-9093 (2 p.m. – 11 p.m.), or 0956-572-9094 (10 p.m. – 7 a.m.
A list of accommodation establishments (AEs) can be found on the website visita.baguio.gov.ph, the official further warned guests.
The phone call was placed after another traveler lost PHP17,000 after paying in advance for lodging only to discover that it was a fraud.
According to Mapalo, the majority of these frauds take place online.
While many trustworthy companies interact with their clients on social media, he added, “prudence and attention on dishonest corporations must still be followed.”
The Baguio City Police Office was instructed by the municipal government to look into the specific occurrence that was brought to their attention.
warning signs for tourists
The city’s tourism agency has previously made some warning signs public in a news release from the Public Information Office-Baguio, which should help the general public recognize when they are dealing with an unauthorized service provider.
He warned about believing in trip packages that sound too good to be true and include lodging, meals, tours, and abnormally low-cost tickets.
According to an earlier estimate by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), a typical domestic traveler visiting Baguio spends PHP2,700 per day.
An authentic receipt is also required for a reputable firm.
The person you are speaking with must be affiliated with the proclaimed legitimate business, not simply any random person claiming to be a representative without documentation, the cities advise said. “This should be fundamental, always ask for documents of business permits and receipts that can be verified,” it said.
Another way to confirm is to look for an official public website or social media page.
The advice continued, “Legitimate firms will advertise their services on open and well-known web platforms, typically with client reviews and ratings; therefore do your research, google if you should.
If a social media presence for a supposedly legitimate business has just been established, that is another warning sign to look out for.
The caution stated that “not all new websites or accounts are necessarily unlawful, but scammers have a tendency to delete previous accounts and then will create new accounts, using different names every time; thus be very meticulous.”
It was also mentioned that scammers frequently lack an official identity.
Additionally, scammers will provide phony photographs of accommodations at a reported address even when it is fake.
Be extremely cautious, always confirm information using Google, questioning others who are familiar with the area, or using the provided hotlines for safety and to avoid being conned, said Mapalo.
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