TOURIST-DRAWER. The Mayon Skyline in Tabaco City is one of the famous tourist destinations in Albay province. The Department of Tourism in Bicol has assured local and foreign tourists that summer destinations and establishments in the region are now ready to accommodate and serve visitors. (Photo courtesy of Aireen Perol-Jaymalin of Bicol.PH)

LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Tourism in Bicol (DOT-5) has assured local and foreign tourists that summer destinations and different establishments in the region are now ready to welcome and serve visitors.

In a phone interview on Monday, DOT-5 Regional Director Herbie Aguas said they have evaluated accredited hotels, resorts, restaurants, and tourism farms to ensure that the tourists will have a comfortable and safe stay in Bicol.

"As the restrictions for Covid-19 are lifted, we are always reminding the owners of different establishments, hotels, and resorts in the region to make sure that they are in compliance with the DOT standards and guidelines. I issued a memorandum to different tourism offices in the region to monitor their respective areas with regard to compliance," Aguas said.

He also said the agency is coordinating with different local government units (LGUs) to ensure their preparedness, particularly with regard to the Lent observance next week and the summer season.

"We want the LGUs to have Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) ready for the summer events. Resorts and beaches must have lifeguards, farm tourism owners must have safety measures particularly terrains and signages in their areas. Accredited tourist guides of DOT are now ready to serve local and foreign visitors. I think the tourism industry in Bicol Region is ready for this summer season," Aguas said.

He also encouraged tourists to check and validate whether the services offered to them are accredited by DOT.

"We want our travelers and visitors to be safe and enjoy their stay in the region, just in case something happened, although we hope not, we can help them to pursue charges and liabilities from the establishment," he added.

Aguas said he expected the number of tourist arrivals in Bicol to double this summer season.

"We are already monitoring numbers of visitors in Donsol, Sorosgon for the whale shark interactions since sightings of whales already started, the white beach of Caramoan in Camarines Sur, surfing beaches of Bagasbas in Camarines Norte and in Baras, Catanduanes, the upcoming Rodeo festival of Masbate, the black beaches and farm tourism in Albay. Also, the Mayon Skyline for pilgrims and tourists," he added.

Meanwhile, the Sorsogon Tourism Office will launch the "Beautiful Sorosgon" branding on March 31, featuring tourist destinations that will be utilized for marketing and promotion initiatives locally and internationally. (PNA)