MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) is planning to reopen several tourist destinations in Baguio City.
According to DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, the initial plan is to allow 200 tourists a day under strict health protocols once tourism resumes in Baguio City.
“Marami na nagbukas [establishments] slowly. Awa ng Dios, walang nagka-COVID,” Puyat said during the budget hearing on Thursday (September 17.)
To further prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission, the DOT is strengthening contact-less services in hotels and other tourism establishments through online bookings and transactions.
Also, RT-PCR testing units will be placed in major tourist destinations for added protection.
Secretary Puyat said that under modified general community quarantine, tourist destinations and establishments are allowed to accommodate patrons at 50 percent capacity, but it would still depend on the approval of the local government.
Puyat also said that a big chunk of the DOT’s P8.5 billion proposed budget for 2021 will be allocated to promoting local tourism.
She noted that 4.8 million tourism industry workers have been affected by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The gradual reopening of tourist destinations in some parts of the country is a welcome relief to stakeholders of the industry.
Puyat said, about 50 percent of business owners who applied for reopening have already been given authority to operate.
Based on a survey conducted by DOT, about 77 percent of local tourists are willing to travel domestically even in the absence of a vaccine.
Also according to the 2020 Philippine Travel Survey Report, beach hopping, road trips and staycations are among the top activities travelers would like to do once restrictions are lifted. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism (DOT) is set to mount sweeper flights for “qualified stranded local tourists” in provinces who wish to return to the National Capital Region (NCR).
DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the sweeper flights will assist stranded local tourists whose trip back to NCR was canceled due to the implementation of the community quarantine against the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The facilitation of sweeper flights developed after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) authorized the DOT to undertake measures to help domestic travelers affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon.
“This is a positive development that will complement our on-ongoing efforts in the Department to assist qualified stranded local tourists, which include the provision of one-time financial assistance,” Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.
The DOT chief said a local tourist may be eligible for the assistance if they are registered with the Regional Tourism Office and has a confirmed land, air, or sea return ticket to their province or city but was canceled due to the ECQ.
As of April 28, there are 2,392 listed domestic tourists stranded in different regions.
The DOT urged stranded local tourists to coordinate with the Tourism Regional Office near them for the schedule of the sweeper flight. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)
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