Mt Pulag tourism to be closed? That is worse that the problem of over tourism.
It will mean the total drying up of supplementary income for the locals in the area, which will encourage them to expand agriculture to make up for the lost.
Traffic management is already being implemented by putting limits on the daily number of tourists allowed on the summit and other locations. It only needs some fine tuning.
Mt Pulag authorities can consider accrediting tour agencies who have been bringing tourists and climbers for a certain period as a prerequisite.
Being accredited means each will be allocated a monthly tourists quota, divided into daily quotas. To make sure that the whole tourist daily sharing is used, the agencies will be allowed to trade daily quotas.
Those who have over-the-quota customers and those with below-the-quota customers can trade allocations under pre-agreed rates.
Let the agencies discuss and agree on a set of rules for implementing it. One of the rules that must be ironed out is the automatic readjustment of monthly quota based on actual performance the previous month or a certain period.
What’s the advantage of the accreditation system over the existing practice?
For one, the agencies will need to work together to sort out any problem before any traveler reaches Mt Pulag authorities, which are understaffed, thus allowing them to focus more on registration, orientation seminars and monitoring.
The tourist-home-stay is a great option to camping. Participating households must register with Mt Pulag authorities to qualify.
Home-stay tourists will be directed to a certain household under a rotation system. Participating households must discuss and agree on the guidelines among themselves, preferably led by community leaders.
Trek guides and porters must register and allocated with customers under a rotation system. If trek guides and porters are under certain organisations, they could follow the accreditation system.
If computerization is feasible, tour agencies and Mt Pulag authorities could link their terminals together.
That’s my two cents suggestion.