Safety, consumer confidence priority under new tourism normal

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

June 13, 2020, 8:41 am

<p><em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The country's tourism industry is bound to bounce back and once it does, the public is assured that the government will put safety before actual tourism resumption, a Department of Tourism (DOT) executive said Friday.

"The very core of tourism has been affected by the pandemic. The best thing that the government can do is ensure that travel is safe to bring the consumer confidence in travel and business," DOT - National Capital Region Director Woodrow Maquiling said during a Tourismo TV webinar.

Maquiling shared that a recovery plan has been laid out to help tourism firms stay afloat under what would be the new normal brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.

He said the accreditation of accommodation establishments, as well as restaurants, was ongoing.

"The TRRP (Tourism Response and Recovery Plan) planning process is really a mixture of all the different national tourism organizations at the grassroots level and the local government unit so that we are able to get what we really want to do and where we want to go after this pandemic," Maquiling said.

Pre-pandemic, Philippine tourism was breaking records with 8.3 million tourist arrivals in 2019 alone. In 2018, it generated more than 5.4 million jobs, contributing to 12.7 percent of the economy.

As several areas in the country shift to modified general community quarantine, protocol-based leisure activities are expected to resume in the coming months.

On June 11, the government approved the reopening of Boracay to Western Visayas tourists starting June 16. (PNA)