Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) President Ritchie Tuano said the national government’s recent move to lift non-essential travel restriction does not immediately guarantee revenue, especially for travel agents.
Tuano said their group is “not seeing anything positive yet” despite the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) now allowing Filipinos to exit the country for non-essential travel.
He stressed the matter still depends on the Filipinos’ willingness to travel noting most are still thinking of other priorities over leisure or holiday trips.
“Assuming that there are countries open to Filipinos, the other challenges or concerns would be the increased cost of travel with the mandatory safety health protocols, including but not limited to mandatory travel and health insurance and the availability of leave days when most of the employees have consumed it during the lockdown,” he said.
Tuano also pointed out the volatile situation in other countries with regard to increasing COVID-19 cases a major concern that can consequently disrupt travel.
“The concerns and challenges I mentioned are hinged in the ability and capability of the government to at least control or manage the further increase of cases,” he added.
The association of travel agents is set to meet for a general membership meeting before the end of the month.
Among matters to be discussed is the reopening of borders, said Tuano.
Earlier this week, the group also called for public understanding amid unreleased travel funds, saying that some travel agents were allegedly insulted, harassed, cursed, and threatened by clients following the Palace’s recent lifting of travel restriction.