Travel agencies, tour operators now allowed in GCQ areas

By Kris Crismundo

October 16, 2020, 10:59 am

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – Travel agencies, tour operators, reservation services, and other related activities are allowed to operate in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) at limited capacity starting Friday.

This came after the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued Memorandum Circular 20-53 dated October 14 that re-categorizes the said travel and tourism-related activities from Category III to Category IV.

These re-categorized activities can operate at 50-percent capacity in GCQ areas.

The MC also expanded the operational capacity of travel agencies, tour operators, reservation services, and other related activities in areas under modified GCQ (MGCQ) to 100 percent.

The DTI reminded travel agencies and tour operators to maintain minimum public health standards upon the re-opening of their businesses.

It added that DTI’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau and its regional and provincial offices will monitor the compliance of these business activities.

“Inspection by the DOT (Department of Tourism), DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment), DOH (Department of Health), and the LGU’s (local government units’) Health Office may also be conducted at any time,” the MC added.

According to a survey of PwC Philippines, 97 percent of tourism-related businesses said the Covid-19 pandemic has a significant impact on their business operations and is causing great concern.

Among the top concerns of these businesses include financial and operational impact, the decline in tourism, and a decrease in tourism confidence.

The tourism sector shares 12.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and accounted for 5.71 million jobs in 2019. (PNA)