DOT to focus on domestic tourism

Domestic tourism will be the main concentration of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in rebuilding trust and confidence in the travel market for next year.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said that 2021 will be about local tourism, citing also that the industry itself is the backbone of many local economies. 

Puyat, who will personally grace the launching of the Ridge to Reef program of the Philippines’ summer capital on Monday, pointed out that Baguio City and Region 1 are two examples of communities dependent on tourism for employment and livelihood. 

“The country’s summer capital and Region 1 have been designated as pilot areas for the gradual reopening of tourism with a maximum of 200 visitors per day. Residents of the region will be allowed to visit Baguio, subject to the minimum health standards set by the Department of Health (DOH). Restarting tourism is our priority. Kailangan pong magkaroon na ng mga trabaho ang mga nawalan ng trabaho,” she said.

With Baguio’s gradual reopening, the DOT through the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) committed to fund relevant projects including the V.I.S.I.T.A., or the Visitors Information and Tourist Assistance app to manage the arrivals of tourists in the city. 

Citing regional tourism as part of the innovation programs, the tourism chief also said that the department will continually conduct dialogues and consultations with different local government units (LGUs) and stakeholders wishing to slowly reopen.

“By pursuing domestic tourism while international travels are halted by the pandemic, the DOT will work hard to bring back jobs and promote the Philippines as a safe and fun tourism destination, through the help of information technology and communication campaigns,” she said.