The Department of Tourism will maximize the potential of the Philippines’ nature-based assets to develop new products that would fit under the new normal.
Speaking during the “Laging Handa” public briefing Thursday, Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. said the DoT is currently working on product development that would fall under the requirements of travel as the industry slowly recovers from the wrath of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Kasi makikita natin na (Because we are seeing that) there is a greater preference for lower density, high-value, mas maraming mga (more of) outdoor types of tours na maganda naman (which is nice) kasi (because) this will work to the advantage,” Bengzon said, stressing that the Philippines has a lot of nature-based assets to offer which the Department can develop into packages and promote to domestic tourists and eventually to the foreign markets.
In July, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat created a task force composed of the heads of the different DoT-attached agencies chaired by Intramuros Administration Administrator Atty. Guiller Asido to focus on the revival of domestic tourism, which includes the development of new tourism products across all regions.
Bengzon pointed out that in 2019, domestic tourism generated about 85 percent in tourism revenues amounting to around P3.1 trillion out of the P3.6 trillion total share of the tourism sector.
“We are also confident na mapapabilis ang recovery ng ating industriya kung matutulungan natin itong mga local enterprises natin (We are confident that our industries would recover if we would help our local enterprises),” he said.
“Kaya kapag nagbukas ang mga destinations talagang hinihikayat natin ang mga travelers na mamasyal at matulungan na makabangon ang mga tourism enterprises (We are encouraging travelers to go out and visit the destinations once they reopen to help our tourism enterprises),” he added.
Boracay Island, Baguio City, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Palawan, and Siargao Island are major tourism sites that recently reopened to local tourists. Others have also reopened but were only accepting resident visitors.
Bengzon said the decision to accept foreign tourists is up to the national government’s COVID-19 task force.