The House of Representatives is confident that Philippine tourism will recover from the COVID-19 threat.
Tourism vice chair and 1st District, Bohol Rep. Edgar Chatto said that the tourism sector has remained resilient even during disasters.
“We have been very resilient in the tourism sector even if we are threatened by disasters or threats like this. The tendency of the industry is really to rebound. It grows back. After this crisis, we will be able to bounce back,” he said.
The Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa) previously estimated that the tourism industry has lost at least P10 billion so far since the travel ban due to COVID-19. About 50 percent of reservations in Boracay, Cebu and Palawan have already been canceled.
Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism reassured the public that efforts are being undertaken by the Department to soften the impact.
“The DOT and the private tourism sector, represented by the major airlines, the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, and the Philippine Hotel Owners Association, met with President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss their plans to roll-out more value-added packages, discounted accommodation rates, and marked-down prices for domestic flights,” according to the House’s statement.—AAC
After its temporary closure, the tourist spots in Sagada, Mountain Province have been reopened to the public but with a new set of rules as precautionary measure against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019).
Sagada Mayor James Pooten, Jr. has signed an order lifting the suspension on all eco-tourism activities in their area. However, Pooten said spelunking and sunrise viewing will remain suspended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The official also said tours will begin at 7:00 a.m. and tourists need to undergo health screenings upon arrival in Sagada.
“Assessment will be done when registering at the Tourist Information Center when checking in at accommodations, and before tours start,” he said.—AAC
Tourism industry stakeholders agreed to help boost domestic travel by offering discounted airfare and hotel rates following a meeting with President Duterte.
“Come with me and be my travel companion. I’ll be traveling around the Philippines. Pasyal tayo dito sa atin. Unahin natin ‘yung atin. Mabuhay ang Pilipino. Mabuhay ang turismo ng Pilipinas,” Duterte said on his video message.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
The House of Representatives will have a joint hearing on the impact of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 on Philippine tourism and travel industry.
The House Committee on Economic Affairs and the House Committee on Tourism will have a joint hearing on Wednesday (February 12) to get the views and perspectives of government officials and tourism stakeholders from the private sector on the issue.
According to Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa) President Cesar Cruz about 50 percent of reservations in Boracay, Cebu and Palawan have been canceled as a result of the imposition of travel ban to and from China.
Philtoa estimates that the tourism industry has lost at least P10 billion so far.
Meanwhile, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) had a preliminary estimate that the economy might lose up to 0.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or about P133 billion if the virus continues to spread.
House Speaker Alan Cayetano earlier expressed the need to ensure that tourism growth will not be derailed as a result of the travel restrictions amid the COVID-19 threat.—AAC
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