We still win as one: PH named world’s leading dive destination

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 2, 2019   •   885

📷Mr. Jerome Kim

The Philippines was recognized as the 2019 World’s Leading Dive destination in the recent World Travel Awards (WTA).

The Department of Tourism has announced that the Philippines bested eight other global dive destinations also nominated under the same category which includes Azores Islands, Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Galapagos Islands, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Maldives, and Mexico.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said this recognition is a validation that the Philippines is truly a premier dive destination.

“Dubbed by marine experts and scientists as the heart of marine biodiversity in the world, our country is home to the highest concentration of coral reef life and astounding variety of marine species,” he said in a statement.—AAC

DOT mandates maximum of double occupancy for hotels under ‘new normal’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 21, 2020

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has mandated hotels and other tourism-related accommodations to only have a maximum of double occupancy as part of the ‘new normal’.

According to DOT Usec. Arturo Boncato, they will limit the occupancy or capacity of hotel accommodations up to two persons per room. This also includes limiting the number of customers in restaurants.

“DOT will be mandating a maximum of double occupancy for all of the hotels. And for restaurants starting with 50% occupancy in terms of operations for in-dining,” he said.

The Tourism Department said they will release the set of policies to be implemented once the operation of tourism-related establishments resume under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Other safety measures include regular sanitation and disinfection, supply of sanitation/disinfecting provisions for workers; regular inspection of health and safety standards being implemented. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Over 1,000 stranded tourists across the Philippines return home

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 4, 2020

Over 1,000 stranded tourists in various destinations in the country have returned home, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in a statement said that the groups arrived from various local airports on seven sweeper flights arranged by the DOT.

“A total of 1,049 distressed travelers reached Manila in succeeding schedules. On Friday, 180 tourists arrived from Puerto Princesa, 60 from El Nido and 144 from Boracay,” the DOT said in a statement.

DOT-NCR Regional Director Woodrow C. Maquiling, Jr. said the returning tourists were subjected to rapid anti-body testing at the airport. He also reported that none of them tested positive for the coronavrus disease (COVID-19).

“To date, the DOT has assisted some 22,264 foreign visitors and 2,505 local tourists stranded in the past month-and-half under ECQ,” the DOT said. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

DOT to mount sweeper flights, grant one-time cash aid to stranded local tourists

Robie de Guzman   •   April 29, 2020

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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