Published on preservesagada.wordpress.com (2013)
Was Sagada like this a decade ago?
Massive onslaught of tourists as expected during the long weekend. Expecting to see that supposed to be two-way road in Daoangan up to the municipal hall as a long stretch of parking space, leaving pedestrians bereft of space and an EDSA-like bumper to bumper traffic.
I think the local government should now think of ways to stop turning the center of the town into a big parking space and avoid heavy traffic in the major roads from occuring. But with the rate of how the roads are paved and the rise of buildings and houses outowering each other, Sagada seems to lean towards catering to high-end tourists whose demand of urban-like accomodations and convenient transportation, rips Sagada off of its off the beaten path beauty which it has been known for.
My ten cents on this, create a traffic scheme and allot a parking space for the visitors’ vehicles several meters away from the center of the town especially during the peak seasons. It would definitely be such a breeze scaling the main roads of Sagada for tourists and locals alike.
How do we like to see Sagada 10 years from now?
Take the case of this report on tourism back in 1981 on one Carribean island:
We recognise that the attraction of this Island is reduced by overcrowding. As traffic multiplies, attraction lessens (tourists add to traffic); as noise increases, attraction decreases (tourists contribute to noise); as social and cultural instability rise, attraction falls (tourism shakes our cultural stability). As we have greater numbers of tourists, we may be repelling the very tourists that would be our ideal: the long-staying, high-spending, committed to quality visitors.
Source: Quoted in Butler, R. (1991) Tourism, Environment and Sustainable Development, Environmental Conservation, 18(3), pp. 201-209.
A sustainable approach to tourism means that neither the natural environment nor the socio-cultural fabric of the host communities will be impaired by the arrival of tourists. On the contrary, the natural environment and the local communities should benefit from tourism, both economically and culturally. Sustainability implies that tourism resources and attractions should be utilised in such a way that their subsequent use by future generations is not compromised.
Source: World Tourism Organisation (2000) Report of Multistakeholder Working Group on Tourism.