DOT puts a spotlight on the Pampanga-Clark-Cebu City interregional tour
According to the recent report of statista, in 2020, the number of registered motorcycles and tricycles in the Philippines is approximately seven million, this is larger than the number of private four-wheel cars, which is at 1.1 million.
With this large number and market, it’s not surprising that even the tourism industry is now gearing up to welcome riders as tourists. During the recently held Department of Tourism (DOT)’s Pampanga-Clark-Cebu City interregional tour, the respective DOT regional director for regions 3 and 7 share how their regions are preparing areas and rolling out programs for tourist riders.
On region 3
With lots of historical places and bypass roads, region 3 is definitely a haven among motorcycle riders. And DOT region 3 director Caroline Uy tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle, just as the Pampanga is now open to tourists without RT-PCR test, they recently opened roads and spaces that are perfect for riders.
For Pampanga, including Clark Freeport Zone, 92.08 percent of its tourism workers have already been vaccinated. Tourists can now safely visit the restaurants of Pampanga—the country’s culinary capital, and explore the province’s sites, such as the Bacolor Church, Mt. Arayat National Park, Diaspora Farm Resort, Lubao Bamboo Hub, and the various attractions at the Clark Freeport Zone, like Clark Natural Park, Dinosaur Island, and Clark Museum without worrying for expensive RTC-PR.
“We consider region 7 as another market, of course because of having a large international airport at Clark,” Caroline Uy, DOT regional director for region 3 tells to the members of the press on why Region 3 and 7 agreed to have this interregional tour bubble. “With the recent executive orders released to us by the Freeport Zone plus the province of Pampanga, RT-PCR test is no longer required as long as the tourists present their vaccination cards.”
On region 7
Meanwhile, region 7 director Shalimar Tamano, tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle that during the pandemic, people are more keen to spend time with nature and open areas, with that, they’re seeing an increase with the local tourist riders.
According to him, this increasing number even pushed locals to open small cafes in the mountainous areas of Cebu City where riders are flocking in to witness the beautiful sunrise or sunset and be one with nature.
“When you go to the mountains, you won’t see four-wheel cars, all are motorcycles because this is the affordable means of transportation here in Cebu and all over the country,” he says. “We are doing this for the locals, riders go to the mountains of Cebu every Friday to Sunday.”
Shalimar also added that to protect this road, the trans central highway or TCH as they call it, in which riders are flocking in, they rolled out a program to protect the area.
“There are thousands of pine trees along that route,” he shares. “If you’re there in a motorcycle, you look to the left—it’s the Tañon Strait, facing Negros Oriental. If you look to the right—you see Mactan and other bodies of water. So it’s two bodies of water left and right.”
Moving forward, Shalimar says that they are planning to discover more back roads route and develop a tourist map for riders. Using this, riders can map out their outdoor adventure including the cafes to visit and camping sites they can stay on.
When it comes to vaccination, Metro Cebu, which includes Cebu City, 93.7 percent of tourism workers have been inoculated. Travelers can now visit these sites in Cebu City: Adlawon Farm, Sirao Flower Garden, Magellan’s Cross, Sto. Nino Church, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza Hamabar, Cebu Heritage Monument, Colon Obelisk, and Museo Sugbo, among others, without RT-PCR test, just vaccination cards.
For more updates about open destinations in the Philippines and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit www.philippines.travel or download the Travel Philippines app at the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.