DOT is watching Thailand's sandbox scheme as a model on how to reopen to international travelers

DOT is watching Thailand's sandbox scheme as a model on how to reopen to international travelers

s the Department of Tourism seeks to accept foreign tourists, they observe how Thailand reopened its doors to foreign travelers.

"We are closely watching Phuket, and their sandbox approach," Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said during the 2021 Philippine Tourism Expo in Subic, Zambales, based on the report of ABS-CBN News.

Last July 1, Thailand started its "sandbox" scheme, permitting vaccinated travelers to visit Phuket Island. The foreign tourists no longer need to be quarantined in a hotel; however, they can't leave Phuket for two weeks.

International Vaccination Certificate

Vaccinating the entire tourism sector

Puyat also hopes to remove or lessen the quarantine period for foreign tourists by making an effort to innoculate the whole tourism sector.

"We feel that there should be, as long as we are accepting vaccinated, fully-vaccinated, that we should reduce quarantine days," Puyat said.

She shared that 99% of the hotel staff in Metro Manila are already vaccinated, a step up in vaccinating the tourism sector. Puyat added that if other tourism operators were included in NCR, the vaccination rate was 95%.

Tourism worker vaccination

Meanwhile, 73% of the tourism workers in Boracay Island are also already inoculated.

Furthermore, the DOT has begun vaccinating tourism workers in other tourist destinations such as Bohol, Baguio, and Palawan.

Travel Packages are Ready

"The preferences are really outdoor adventures," Tonette Velasco-Allones, Chief Operating Officer of the Tourism Promotions Board, said, according to the report of ABS-CBN News.

Since the tourism sector is doing its best to address the travelers' safety concerns, Allones is optimistic that business will recommence despite the ongoing pandemic.

Road trips

Meanwhile, Cesar Cruz, President of the Philippine Tour Operators Association, said that they made tour packages centred on prompting road trips in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao amid the complications of current air travel.

"With land travel, we can come out with a lot of packages already. Heritage tourism, farm tourism, nature-based tourism," Cruz said.

(Source: ABS-CBN News)

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