Despite the lifting of non-essential outbound travel in late October, the Philippine Travel Agencies Association said the demand for travel has not yet picked up.
Ritchie Tuaño, PTAA president, said the factors for the low travel demand remain the same for the past weeks.
He said this was because destinations that have reopened to tourists are still limited, both for domestic and international, and the confidence of travellers remains low.
“Travellers are anxious to go through the required COVID-19 test prior to travel,” he said.
Among the major tourist destinations that reopened in the country are Baguio City, Boracay, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur. The Palawan provincial government unit is finalizing the details for its expanded domestic reopening.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat had earlier appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to impose a price cap on the real-time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and antigen tests for COVID-19 to enhance tourism revival by making testing more affordable to travellers.
Last Wednesday, President Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) 118 directing the Department of Health (DOH), in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to ensure the accessibility and affordability of COVID-19 tests and test kits for all.