Published on : Tuesday, March 21, 2017
The Banaue rice terraces in the Philippines are well-known for their beautiful aesthetics and plentiful yield. These hand-hewn terraces are considered the rice bowl of the region, besides being a tourist attraction. However, reaching there isn’t easy, and it can take up to 10 hours to reach Banaue by bus from Manila, which has put many people off visiting.
However, new flights to nearby Bagabag Airport promises to cut down the time to reach Banaue, and that’s indeed good news for tourism in the region. The flight services are due to commence from May via Wakay Air Services, and will depart four times a week from the city of Clark, which is well connected to Manila. The flight time will be for an hour and from Bagabag Airport to Banaue, it will take an hour more, cutting the journey time to half.
But will it be for betterment of tourism in the area? The remoteness of Banaue has until now protected the place from perils of mass tourism, and sudden influx of tourists will undoubtedly have an impact on the area. But at any cost, tourists pouring in to the area can actually prove to be a savior for this ancient landmark, as more and more young people from Banaue abandoned it for lucrative foreign shores. According to Filipino journalist, Tata Mapa, “If there is a surge in tourism then it’s possible that more of the locals will stay home and have more sustainable employment.”
Tourism may also supplement the incomes of impoverished local farmers, enabling them to invest more money into the maintenance of the rice terraces, which have to be periodically rebuilt due to soil erosion and inclement weather.
Tags: Banaue tourism