Domestic travel seen as ‘catalyst’ for rebooting virus-hit Philippine tourism
MANILA, Philippines — Domestic tourism will serve as the “catalyst” for restarting Philippine tourism which has been heavily battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Wednesday.
According to Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato, the future of tourism will “depend largely on the trust and confidence of our markets that is really enshrined in the Tourism Response and Recovery Program (TRRP).”
“The focus of the TRRP of the Department of Tourism is to initially respond to the urgent needs of the tourism stakeholders so we link them to government financial institutions for assistance and we have closely worked with our legislators in crafting several versions of the economic stimulus bill,” Boncato said in a pre-State of the Nation Address forum.
“A major strategy of the TRRP is to restart tourism. And Sec. (Bernadette) Puyat believes that domestic tourism should be the catalyst of restarting the industry all over the Philippines,” he added.
Boncato noted that the DOT is already looking at local tourist spots that can be reopened following months of strict movement restrictions imposed to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Earlier, the DOT said it is eyeing the implementation of “travel bubbles,” where foreign tourists from countries with low or zero COVID-19 cases would be allowed to visit select destinations in the country.
Among the destinations being considered are Bohol and Boracay. [ac]
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