To help further build travel confidence, The Department of Tourism (DOT) is supporting the proposed vaccine passport for arriving tourists.
"This is a concept that we are supporting because this will help facilitate cross-border travel," Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon, Jr. said. "This has been discussed already in many destinations around the world. Ang tinitingnan nalang dito is kung papaano maii-standardize (What we're looking at here is how we can standardize that)."
Bengzon added that the success of this proposal would still depend on the vaccination program and how wide the scale of the inoculation would be and on the willingness of the receiving country to recognize the vaccine passport.
To keep the industry afloat, the agency is currently banking on domestic tourism since the borders are still closed to international travelers, Bengzon.
With around 110 million domestic trips recorded in 2019 alone, the country has a huge domestic tourism base, while the revenue generated from domestic travel was also pegged at PHP3.1 trillion he noted.
"Nakikita natin na mas mapapabilis ang recovery ng ating tourism industry as a whole dahil maraming Pilipino ang talagang gusto nang umikot at lumabas ito sa aming study (We could see that this would enable faster recovery for the tourism industry as a whole especially now that more Filipinos wants to travel)," Bengzon said.
Bengzon stressed that the DOT continues to strictly implement travel protocols, especially for reopened destinations, and engages with stakeholders and local government units.
"The instruction of Secretary Bernadette (Romulo-Puyat) is to ensure that all the health and safety protocols are in place so when the destinations have reopened we're certain that tourists are safe as well as the tourism front-liners and the host community," he said.
Source: Philippine News Agency