76 quarantine hotels seek DOT permission to shift to regular operation
MANILA, Philippines — Some 76 hotels currently utilized as quarantine facilities have asked the Department of Tourism (DOT) to allow them to shift to regular operation since the country is set to open its doors to foreign tourists starting February 10.
Citing figures from its National Capital Region office, the DOT said 37,348 (68%) of the 55,150 rooms in 418 quarantine hotels in Metro Manila are still occupied. These hotels, it added, cater to the unvaccinated travelers completing their quarantine period, long staying guests, OFWs ready for departure, and BPO employees.
“As much as 76 quarantine hotels have submitted a Letter of Intent to shift to regular hotels and cater to leisure tourists,” the DOT, however, noted in a statement on Wednesday.
The government’s pandemic task force has approved the DOT’s proposal to allow the entry of fully vaccinated tourists coming from 157 countries that have visa-free arrangements with the Philippines, scrapping the color-coded classification system of countries based on their COVID-19 status.
On Wednesday, Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay media forum that “all systems go” for the country’s reopening for international travel even calling this development an “exciting time for Philippine tourism.”
“Allowing the entry of these international travelers is a welcome development that will lead to growth in the travel and tourism sector, the restoration of lost jobs, the generation of much-needed revenue for tourism-related enterprises, tourism communities, and the government, plus many other benefits that will be felt by the entire tourism value chain,” she said.
The DOT its NCR office has already prepared DOT counters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport with additional personnel to assist the arriving visitors on Thursday, February 10.
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