Ilocos Sur prepares to welcome tourists starting November 15

Maris Federez   •   October 19, 2020   •   459

The Department of Tourism (DOT) welcomes the news that Ilocos Sur will open to Luzon residents on November 15.

In a press release issued on Sunday (October 18), the DOT said the province will once again open its doors to tourists once all systems and health and safety measures are in place.

Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan V. Singson made the announcement to open up the province following the growing interest from tourists from the National Capital Region (NCR) during the launch of the Reef and Ridge traveler corridor.

The DOT also lauded Governor Singson’s initiative, noting that such measure aims to give back jobs to the tourism workforce from the kutcheros or carriage drivers to the waiters, the souvenir shops, to the tour guides through the slow but sure reopening of the province.

Ilocos Sur first welcomed back tourists through the Ridge and Reef travel corridor with Baguio City and Ilocos Region including the provinces of La Union, Pangasinan, and Ilocos Norte.

The province takes pride of its famous tourist destinations, such as, Vigan Heritage Village and Calle Crisologo, Plaza Salcedo Dancing Fountain, Bantay Bell Tower, Santa Maria Church, and Plaza Burgos.

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

DOT slams ‘Halloween party’ in Boracay for violating physical distancing

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday slammed the Halloween party held recently at the Casa de Arte in Boracay for violating physical distancing protocols.

In a statement, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the department supports the recommendation of the Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group to close down the erring establishment.

Puyat also said the resort lacked business permit and necessary clearances as determined by the authorities.

She also reminded local government units (LGUs), business establishments, and guests in the island to strictly observe the duly prescribed health and safety guidelines as determined by the Interagency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

“The jobs and livelihoods that were recently restored in these sites will be affected once again if an outbreak occurs in the area due to the LGU’s negligence. We urge our LGUs to please take our health and safety protocols seriously,” she said. AAC

DOT announces reopening of Siargao Island

Maris Federez   •   November 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced on Saturday (November 21) the upcoming reopening of one of the country’s premier destinations — Siargao Island.

In an advisory, the DOT said the teardrop-shaped island, known as the surfing capital of the Philippines, is set to welcome local tourists to its world-class white sand beaches, natural rock and cave pools, romantic sunsets, and wild water surf sites again on November 23.

The department said this was confirmed by Mayor Cecilia L. Ruson of the municipality of General Luna, Surigao del Norte thru a local executive order.

“This is encouraging news for everyone who loves the sea, especially the surfers. As Siargao reopens to travelers, subject to minimum health and safety standards, the people of the island will regain their livelihood and share their paradise to our kababayans once more with the same level of hospitality they have always been known for,” Secretary Puyat enthused.

The advisory added that with the resumption of flights to Siargao on December 1, “tourists can visit the country’s most well-known surf spots through Sayak Airport near the barangays of Del Carmen and Heneral Luna and discover a variety of hidden attractions.”

In compliance with IATF directives and local COVID management procedures, the Siargao LGU has set minimum health and safety standards and COVID testing requirements before tourists arrive on the island.

Tourists arriving via Surigao City/Sayak Airport will be required an e-Health Pass with valid ID; Negative RT-PCR result taken within 48 hours from point of origin; a five-day confirmed booking from an accommodation establishment with a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) or Provisional Certificate of Authority to Operate (PCAO) from the Department of Tourism, and a round-trip ticket/travel details, the advisory further said, as part of the protocol.

However, if the RT-PCR is taken more than 48 hours of departure from point of origin, a negative antigen swab will be required on the day of arrival.

Tourists from the province of Surigao del Norte, on the other hand, will be required an e-health pass with valid ID; certificate from the barangay captain that traveler is not a close contact; confirmed booking from an accredited DOT-accommodation establishment (AE).

Meanwhile, hotels and resorts will be allowed to operate once they completed their business permit; a certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) from the DOT; E-Health System Registration; E-Health pass or QR code reader and new normal protocols approved by the Municipal Health Office.

The advisory added that curfew will also be enforced from 11:00PM to 4:00AM. — /mbmf

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