Private firms launch mass vaccination for industry workers to boost tourism

Published August 25, 2021, 1:48 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

To boost the safe recovery of the domestic tourism industry, some private firms have stepped up in helping the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) vaccination drive for workers in the sector through providing doses of anti-COVID jabs for them.

Tourism frontliners and workers in El Nido, Palawan during the vaccination program at the Lio Tourism Estate.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat earlier lauded its partners in the private sector for their initiative to give out vaccines for tourism workers in popular destination site Palawan.

The DOT said around 500 tourism frontliners and 100 of their dependents received their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccines from private firms AirSwift, AC Health, Ayala Hotels and Resorts, Healthway, Qualimed, Ten Knots, and Zuellig Pharma on Aug. 16.

Puyat earlier led the launching of the ceremonial vaccination of El Nido tourism frontliners and workers at the Lio Estate as part of the Department’s pandemic recovery program.

Aside from this, private firm Ten Knots also launched its own vaccination drive in Lio Estate where 600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines purchased through the Ayala Vaccination and Immunization Program (AVIP) were used for employees and members of the El Nido community.

“The safety of our guests, employees, and the local community remain our top priority. Getting local tourism frontliners and workers vaccinated will not just provide protection for themselves and their families, but also greatly help in our bid to restore jobs and restart tourism slowly, carefully, and safely,” Ten Knots Development Corp. President and CEO Javier Hernandez said.

According to Hernandez, recipients of their vaccine doses include estate and resort employees, dependents, members of the Lio community such as merchants, locators, contractors, security, and locals from El Nido town who were selected via recommendations of the Ayala Foundation and local leaders.

Puyat has been pushing workers in the local tourism sector to get their COVID jabs as part of efforts to restore the public’s confidence to travel and help in the industry’s recovery amid the pandemic.

The tourism chief said the local tourism industry is currently gaining momentum towards recovery as the Department strengthens its cooperation with its public and private partners to bring more vaccine doses to the country’s key tourism destinations.

In Palawan, the DOT already rolled out its vaccination program in four key tourist destinations including El Nido, Coron, San Vicente, and Puerto Princesa where accredited establishments have been accommodating essential bookings and local tourists.

The DOT said it targets to inoculate over 30,000 tourism workers in these tourist hubs.