House: PH tourism can recover from COVID-19 scare

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 14, 2020   •   945

BORACAY

The House of Representatives is confident that Philippine tourism will recover from the COVID-19 threat.

Tourism vice chair and 1st District, Bohol Rep. Edgar Chatto said that the tourism sector has remained resilient even during disasters.

“We have been very resilient in the tourism sector even if we are threatened by disasters or threats like this. The tendency of the industry is really to rebound. It grows back. After this crisis, we will be able to bounce back,” he said.

READ: NAIA passenger volume drops by 60% after travel ban

The Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa) previously estimated that the tourism industry has lost at least P10 billion so far since the travel ban due to COVID-19. About 50 percent of reservations in Boracay, Cebu and Palawan have already been canceled.

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism reassured the public that efforts are being undertaken by the Department to soften the impact.

“The DOT and the private tourism sector, represented by the major airlines, the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, and the Philippine Hotel Owners Association, met with President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss their plans to roll-out more value-added packages, discounted accommodation rates, and marked-down prices for domestic flights,” according to the House’s statement.—AAC

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Phl bags World’s Leading Dive Destination, Tourist Attraction victory for 2020

Maris Federez   •   November 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Intramuros and the country’s dive sites have once again bagged accolades at the 27th World Travel Awards, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reported on Saturday (November 28).

The DOT said the award-giving body has recognized the Philippines as the World’s Leading Dive Destination and Intramuros as the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2020.

“We are incredibly grateful for the recognitions given to the Philippines’ magnificent dive sites and the beautifully-restored heritage site of Intramuros at the 27th World Travel Awards,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

“We will continue to promote sustainable, inclusive, and world-class tourism, especially now as we slowly reopen our attractions to more domestic tourists,” she added.

The DOT said that it is the Philippines’ second time to win the World’s Leading Dive Destination.

It bested eight (8) different dive destinations such as Azores Islands, Bora Bora, French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Galapagos Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Maldives, and Mexico. 

The DOT media release also said that the agency recognizes dive tourism, as well as increased visitor count, extended length of stay, and higher tourism revenue, as one of the key areas for positive industry growth.

The department, on the other hand, reported that it is Intramuros’ first time to win World’s Leading Tourist Attraction, beating fifteen (15) different attractions such as Acropolis of Greece, Burj Khalifa of Dubai, the Grand Canyon National Park of USA, Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania, and Taj Mahal of India, among others. —/mbmf

Philippine islands named top favorites in Asia by int’l travel magazine

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 7, 2020

The Philippines dominated the Conde Naste Traveler’s (CNT) list of top islands in Asia.

Cebu and Visayas Islands have been named among Top Island in Asia while Palawan, Siargao, and Boracay ranked fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said it will be a challenge for the department to continue advocating sustainable and responsible tourism practices that will help preserve these destinations.

“This latest citation from CNT gives us in the Department of Tourism (DOT) a boost of confidence, as we continuously carry out our strategies to gradually reopen domestic tourism, to once again welcome travelers from other countries when things become better,” she said. AAC

DOT announces Boracay now open to youths, seniors from Western Visayas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 24, 2020

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has announced that young and senior tourists from Western Visayas are now allowed to visit Boracay Island.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Boracay will reopen for tourists, ages below 21 and above 60, from Western Visayas.

“This move aims to further reinvigorate the tourism economy in the region and address the earlier clamor of Boracay tourism stakeholders to attract more tourists to the island,” she said.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Thursday (July 23) approved the DOT’s recommendation to lift the ban on tourists below 21 and above 60 on Boracay island.

Puyat assured the government will continue to put the safety of the public first and will strictly implement health and safety protocol as the island reopens. She also noted that there were no reported coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on the island.

“The DOT will always put paramount concern on the safety of our people — tourists and residents alike,” she said. AAC

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