The Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat announced that the Philippines is inclined to associate with neighboring countries in establishing ”international travel bubbles” that will spur international tourism amidst the pandemic.
Secretary Puyat stated that to assure safe travels and good results, both governments should prepare facilities and proper infrastructure to implement strict health and safety protocols for the coming tourists.
“Whenever feasible, the Philippines is willing to tie-up with neighboring countries first with the main consideration of proximity,” Puyat said.
Local travelers to reboot PH tourism
With the pandemic still occurring, a way to reboot the Philippines’ tourism would be to focus on local travelers. The DOT is helping the local government in reopening their tourist spots or attractions.
“Together with the Tourism Promotions Board, we will spearhead product diversification and enhancement activities with the regions and LGUs,” Puyat said.
The new Covid- 19 variant has struck fear in many wanting to travel because of possible transmission. Puyat assured that the country’s entry protocol would have been strengthened by now. As the DOT continues to work on the development of health and safety guidelines for the continuation of tourism enterprises and activities.
“Hopefully, with the improvement of community quarantine levels, efforts will be intensified to help revive tourism activities and restore job and livelihood opportunities,” Puyat said.
The local tourism industry would also slowly reopen. With help from the DOT, they will assist through the standardization of travel protocols and the different LGU requirements.
“To ensure a good travel experience, protocols for each tourism activity should be developed,” Puyat said.
Furthermore, “This could be made possible through further development of the Philippine Travel applications to integrate other local and national government systems and platforms and become a “super app that more travelers can rely on”
The National Tourism Department Plan 2016-2022 will be aligned with the Tourism Response and Recovery Plan. This is the “blueprint for recovery” of the tourism industry which will strengthen the institution and the policy reforms to help prepare the destination for the new normal.
“Recalibration of targets and refocusing to domestic tourism in the short term will be carried out. Such plans will also need to be in harmony with the NEDA’s Ambisyon 2040 and Philippine Development Plan,” Puyat said.
According to the DOT data, there has been a drop of 83.97 percent from over eight million arrivals last 2019 where the Philippines only received 1,323,956 foreign visitors.