Travel bookings in Cebu, Bohol slightly decline due to terror threats

admin   •   April 25, 2017   •   3632

MANILA — There is only minimal number of tourists who cancelled their trips to Central Visayas. This is despite a series of travel advisories issued by Japan, China and Korea to their citizens saying it is not safe to travel to Central Visayas due to threats of terrorism in the region.

Based on the records of the travel agency, Nemoto Travel, only 10 tourists have cancelled their travel bookings this month.

Nemoto Travel adds most tourists who availed of travel packages will pursue their vacation plans despite the travel advisories.

“For future bookings, there are some who have cancelled their bookings, but very minimal. Now we are processing the request of the Japanese school to Cebu. They are 30 persons going to Cebu in November.  We also have other bookings which have not been cancelled,” NAITAS president, Erlinda Tan said.

Tan, the owner of Nemoto Travel and Tours and the president of the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (NAITAS) said there are about 3,000 Japanese tourists who book flights to Cebu and Bohol monthly.

The Department of Tourism said the same.

“If we talk about cancellations and we talk about those who decided to push through with their trips, it’s very clear there a lot more tourists who decided to push through,” said DOT Usec. Benito Bengzon Jr.

“Sabi ko nga bababa ang tourism for a while pero but after that it goes up…  kasi I’ve been in travel business for 20 years (As I have said, there will be a decline in the tourism industry for a while. But after that, it goes up. I’ve been in the travel business for 20 years) ,” DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo Teo said.

Meanwhile, 65 travel agencies from NAITAS will conduct ocular inspection from April 28 to 30.

This is to show tourists that it is safe to travel to Cebu and Bohol. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

Hotels may soon be allowed to accept more guests – DOT

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hotels in areas classified under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ will soon be allowed to accept guests at full capacity in a bid to help the tourism industry recover from the effects of the pandemic, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Wednesday.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has given the authority to the DOT to determine the allowable operational capacity for hotels, including those that offer staycations.

Puyat, however, stressed that the decision to open at 100% capacity will be up to the hotel management and subject to compliance with safety guidelines.

The announcement follows the issuance last week of an IATF resolution which amends the provision that only allows establishments in GCQ areas to operate with a skeleton work force.

For accommodation establishments in areas declared to be under MGCQ, Resolution No. 79 provides that the DOT shall determine their allowable operational capacity from the previous provision for a maximum of 50% operational capacity.

Operational capacity is defined by the IATF as such a number of employees who can be permitted to physically report to work on-site.

“Also approved in the said resolution is the easing up of interzonal and intrazonal movement, which is the predicate to reviving domestic tourism,” Puyat said.

“Along with this comes the need to ready the whole tourism value chain, which includes the accommodation, transportation, and tour operation sectors. Allowing the accommodation sector to operate at full capacity will be most welcomed by tourism’s workforce that has been greatly affected since the community lockdown,” she added.

The DOT is set to issue guidelines for the expanded operational capacity of hotels, she further stated.

Puyat earlier directed all hotels and other tourism establishments in GCQ areas to secure a DOT Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycations (DCAOS) prior to accommodating any guests for that purpose.

Ilocos Sur prepares to welcome tourists starting November 15

Maris Federez   •   October 19, 2020

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.

Staycations will help boost hotel industry, domestic tourism amid pandemic – DOT

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Several hotels in Metro Manila have opened for “staycations” amid general community quarantine, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said at least 10 luxury hotels have resumed normal operations after they were issued with certificates of authority to operate for staycations.

These hotels include Grand Hyatt Manila and Shangri-La at the Fort in Taguig City, Hryatt Regency City of Dreams, Makati Shangri-La, EDSA Shangri-La in Mandaluyong City, Joy Nostalg Hotel and Suites in Pasig City, Solaire Resort, Okada Manila, Nobu Hotel in Parañaque City, and City of Dreams Manila – Nüwa.

“People living in NCR, they want to go out and they want to have a sense of normalcy. And staycation is nothing new. They’ve been doing it in Singapore, in Japan; and it’s very safe. That’s why we have–we follow the minimum health and safety protocols,” Romulo-Puyat said.

DOT guidelines define staycations as a minimum of an overnight stay for leisure purposes in hotels not being used as isolation or quarantine facilities.

The tourism chief said amended guidelines for accommodation establishments have already been issued to ensure safety of guests amid the pandemic.

The tourism chief said families may take part in a short staycation activity as this allows guests of all ages; provided, that they are COVID-free based on a rapid antigen test conducted on the same day of check-in.

“Filipinos di ba laging travel as a family. So, when we mentioned this staycation that we removed the age restrictions, masaya syempre yung mga pamilya kasi they really want to be with their apos. So, at least, this is a good chance for them,” she said.

The DOT is optimistic that staycations will help boost domestic tourism, revive the hotel industry, and pave the way for job generation.

“In 2019, tourism employed 5.7 million people. As of today, 4.8 million have already been affected. Either they lost their jobs or the salaries got lower. So, we really need to restart. We need to get jobs back,” Romulo-Puyat said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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