PH tourism industry headed towards recovery — DOT

Published January 28, 2021, 6:09 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is optimistic that the country’s tourism industry is now headed towards recovery as it prepares to invite more travelers once the country reopens for international tourists.

Tourism chief Bernadette-Romulo Puyat (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

These preparations include webinars that aim to enhance the competencies of the local tourism stakeholders to equip them further in time for the country’s “tourism rebound.”

The DOT, over the week, held a webinar dubbed “Meet Israel 101” to gear up the private sector with updated travel preferences and basic essential requirements to inspire travelers from Israel to visit the Philippines when it is possible to do so.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said Israel is one of the country’s “opportunity markets” where a continuous increase in arrivals has been recorded through the years.

“The Philippines is ranked among Israel’s top 10 destinations in Asia. Visitor arrivals from Israel to the Philippines have increased by more than four times in the last eight years — from 4,990 visitors in 2011 to 22,851 in 2019,” she said. 

According to Puyat, the consistent increase of travelers from Israel to the Philippines was also made more remarkable as there is no direct air connectivity between the two countries.

“As the world gears up for everyone’s revenge travel, hopefully, this 2021, we need both the government and the private sector to synchronize strategies in navigating the new normal with one goal in mind — enticing more of the Israeli market to come and visit our glorious islands,” Puyat noted.

While Puyat recognized that the country’s tourism sector has been severely impacted by the pandemic, she emphasized that industry players in the Philippines and Israel are positive that it is now headed towards recovery.

“We can and we will achieve this through a calculated and steady approach that balances tourism activities with health and safety guidelines,” she said.

Puyat added that the Department has been developing strategies to refocus and adapt to the “constantly dynamic and shifting industry.” 

“The Philippines will strengthen its market presence in Israel through innovative trade re-development and consumer activation activities to address their travel requirements under this new normal,” Puyat said.

“We eagerly look forward to the end of the pandemic and connecting Israel directly to the Philippines. Direct air access would be pivotal in bringing more tourists and making packages to the Philippines more competitive and enticing,” she added.