REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM

Kagawaran ng Turismo

         

PST:  8:36:19

Local News

 

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo–Puyat said the tourism industry is ready to face the reality and daunting challenges of the "new normal," referring to new standards and protocols for safe and responsible tourism that will direct its path to recovery.

The tourism chief disclosed the wide–range preparations for the anticipated reopening of economic activities during the Tuesday's online–edition of Go Negosyo, themed "We Go As One For Tourism," hosted by Presidential Adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.

To guarantee the visitors' primary concern for safety, the DOT Chief said measures will be implemented including: re–training of tourism practitioners, reducing the capacity of air and land transport units, the distribution of hygiene kits to tour participants, mandatory temperature checks at airports, hotels, and other attractions, and ensuring food safety, among others.

The DOT is also proposing the following measures: a) Regular sanitation/ disinfection of tourism accommodation and transport services; b) provision of sanitation/ disinfecting devices, including PPEs for tourism workers; c) regular inspection of tourism establishments by agencies in relation to health and safety standards; d) development of online systems that can facilitate tourism–related transactions such as applications for accreditation, training modules, and even retail.

"There is no going back to the way things were and we have to accept the tourism landscape that will emerge after the COVID–19 pandemic. Unless a vaccine is developed, the threat of another outbreak is always a possibility so safety will be the paramount concern of most of our visitors," said Puyat.

She also took the opportunity to appeal to the public for support as the tourism industry adapts the stringent measures required to survive, thrive and stay resilient under the new normal.

"With your support, open-mindedness, and cooperation, the tourism industry can once again prosper while setting the bar with new standards for hospitality, sustainability, health and safety, and guest satisfaction," Sec. Puyat added.

The tourism chief stressed the government's inclusive approach to finding solutions to the challenges identified as the most pressing, such as: the need for soft loans for working capital; payment of loans; deferment of tax payments; wage subsidies; and health and safety of tourism workers.

She said the DOT, in cooperation with national government agencies and stakeholders through the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP), is currently formulating the Tourism Response and Recovery Plan (TRRP), which will serve as the masterplan to get the industry back on its feet.

Puyat assured that the TRRP is designed to revitalize the country's tourism industry, including programs, projects, and activities under six thematic outcomes with emphasis on sustaining businesses, training or capacitating the workforce, and protecting vulnerable groups.