Negros Oriental finally opens its doors to domestic travelers. And the DOT is glad to be part of assisting another local destination to boost the economy and revive the tourism industry.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat showed her support to the Negros Oriental 2nd District Representative Manual "Chiquiting" Sagarbarria, Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, Dauin Mayor Galicano Truita, and more provincial leaders at a press conference last Thursday.
"Everyone is aware that the country's tourism industry suffered a major setback last year, which prompted many of our destinations, including Negros Oriental, to put up travel restrictions. I am happy to say, however, that there has been significant progress in our efforts to rebuild tourism here in Negros Oriental," Puyat said.
The Department plans to contribute to helping promotional branding campaigns, assistance on the initiation of a hyperbaric chamber, and the creation of a digital platform called Visitor Information and Travel Assistance (VIS.I.T.A). VIS.I.T.A is an application developed for an efficient visitor management system with the help of its attached agency Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).
The reopening of dive tourism in the Municipality of Dauin to domestic tourists is also a step forward to rebuilding the industry, as more Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD) workforce will be deployed to reinforce the building capacity and the accreditation of different dive establishments.
“This would allow the more efficient processing of the requirements to reopen dive establishments in Negros Oriental. The DOT Region 7 office has also set up several diving activities for the year, including support for a marketing event previously discussed with the Negros Oriental Dive Association,” Secretary Puyat said.
Furthermore, DOT shows their full support when it comes to ensuring health and safety protocols. Assuring that it is well implements in the tourism value chain. The DOT Region 7 already accredited 962 accommodation establishments in Central Visayas alone, where 77 are from Negros Oriental.
They also endorsed a total number of 1,763 tourism enterprises, tour guide associations/individuals, and community based-tourism where 178 are from Negros Occidental with total beneficiaries of 886 individuals amounting to a total budget of Php 4, 430,000.
“Much can still be done in order to ensure that our displaced tourism workers will be given the proper assistance. This is a platform that is being made available until June 30, 2021, so I encourage everyone now from the tourism industry in Negros Oriental to take hold of this opportunity and apply with the DOLE,” Puyat noted.
Meanwhile, DOT Secretary urged tourists to try eating "budbud" or sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves and sikwate, a delicacy in Negros Oriental, and also the hot tablea drink found in its local market for a taste of original Dumaguete flavor experience.