DOT: 222 foreign tourists expected to arrive as PH reopens on Feb. 10
MANILA, Philippines — A total of 222 tourists are expected to enter as the country reopens to fully vaccinated foreign travelers on Thursday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
Starting Feb. 10, the country will allow the entry of fully vaccinated tourists from 157 countries that have visa-free arrangements with the Philippines.
“In fact, for today, we are expecting – nagulat ako (I was shocked) – 222 tourists today, the bulk coming from the [United States]… Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia,” she said during the Laging Handa briefing.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles expressed confidence that the protocols imposed by the country will be able to boost tourism while ensuring the public’s safety.
“Ang bottom line po natin ay tatanggap na po tayo ng mga foreign nationals coming for tourism and business. Okay, so lahat ng mga protocols na ginawa po natin… we’re confident that because of these protocols ay we will be able to ensure na, number one, mapi-pick up na, ang tourism industry natin, mapapabangon natin mula ang ating tourism industry, makakatulong po ito ng malaki sa mga lubos na naapektuhan sa sector na iyan, lalong-lalo na po ang ating mga workers, employees, mga nagtatrabaho sa sektor na iyan,” he said during the same briefing.
(The bottomline is we are accepting foreign nationals coming for tourism and business. We’re confident that our protocols will be able to ensure that our tourism industry will recover, and it will help those affected in the sector, especially workers, employees.)
“But we will be able to ensure if everybody complies with the minimum health and safety protocols po natin maging ang mga turista, maging ang mga foreign nationals ay magku-comply, at lahat po tayo ay magku-comply, ay maa-assure po natin na hindi ito magiging sanhi ng spike or surge in COVID ‘no?” Nograles noted.
(But we will be able to ensure that if everybody complies with the minimum health and safety protocols, we can assure that this will not cause a spike or surge in COVID-19.)
Citing a survey conducted by the Department of Tourism (DOT), Romulo-Puyat said tourists want activities and places that have open spaces to prevent COVID-19 spread.
“[I]to kasama ang food and culinary tourism, iyong nature and wellness program, iyong bike and motorcycle tourism,” said Romulo-Puyat.
(It includes food and culinary tourism, nature and wellness programs, bike and motorcycle tourism.)
“So, mayroon din farm and agri-tourism. Biglang nabuhay iyong aming farm tourism na masayang-masaya kami kasi ngayon gustung-gusto ng ating mga turista malaman kung where their food comes from, gusto nilang mag-farm, eh lalo na tayo agricultural country. Mayroon din religious and faith-based driven,” she continued.
(So, there is also farm and agri-tourism. Our farm tourism thrived and we are very happy because now they want to know where their food comes from, they want to farm, especially since we are an agricultural country. We also have religious and faith-based activities.)
Further, Romulo-Puyat reminded the public to continue observing minimum public health standards, especially the wearing of face masks.
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