DOT: Tourism looks ‘much brighter’ after lifting outdoor mask mandate | Inquirer News

DOT: Tourism looks ‘much brighter’ after lifting outdoor mask mandate

/ 01:50 PM September 13, 2022
DOT: Tourism looks ‘much brighter’ after lifting outdoor mask mandate

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MANILA, Philippines — Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said on Tuesday that the lifting of the outdoor mask requirement will have a dramatic positive impact on the tourism industry’s revival.

On Monday, President Ferdinand Marcos “Bongbong” Jr. issued an executive order that gave people the choice not to wear face masks outdoors.

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“Our prospects for recovery are much brighter with the Philippines’ signal to the world that we are open, we are ready, and we are moving forward,” Frasco said in a statement.

The head of the Department of Tourism (DOT) is hopeful that the new strategy would help the country increase its inbound tourism to match those of its Southeast Asian counterparts.

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“The DOT is optimistic that the lifting of the mask mandate will allow the Philippines to gradually catch up in the race to the recovery of tourism in the Asean region as this is seen to build more confidence in travel, spur economic activity, and enhance people-to-people connectivity into and around the country,” Frasco said.

The Philippines is one of the last countries in Southeast Asia which lifted the outdoor mask mandate.

Before Marcos’s executive order, the Philippines and Myanmar are the only countries in Southeast Asia that have not lifted their mask mandate outdoors, according to the Department of Health.

Frasco also said that empirical data shows that countries in Asia, Europe, and North America that got rid of strict health rules like the mandatory mask rule did better on the economy, got more tourists, and recovered their tourism portfolios faster.

“With the President’s EO and hopefully, the eventual recalibration of all remaining restrictions, the country will be able to strike the necessary balance between protecting lives and promoting livelihood,” she also said.—with reports from Trisha Manalaysay, INQUIRER.net trainee

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TAGS: Christina Frasco, Department of Health, Department of Tourism, executive order, face mask mandate, Myanmar, Southeast Asia, Tourism
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