DOT seeks support of Korean execs to boost PH tourism

Top officials of the Department of Tourism (DOT) have met with their Korean counterparts to promote the country as a safe travel destination during the dry (summer) season under the new normal.

In a statement, Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said the agency plans to tap the Korean travel market to boost the country’s tourist arrivals that include activities that will appeal to Korean leisure travelers.

“The Philippines is more than ready to welcome our Korean tourists. Our entry requirements are one of the safest and most relaxed in Asia,” said Puyat on April 4.

She explained that fully vaccinated foreign travelers with negative Covid-19 test results would no longer quarantine or undergo testing upon arrival. At the same time, unvaccinated children below 12 may travel to the country with their fully vaccinated parents.

Aside from minimal requirements, Puyat also highlighted the high vaccination rate among DOT workers and stakeholders nationwide at 97 percent, along with the decreasing Covid-19 cases in the country.

“With the majority of the country’s tourism workers being fully vaccinated, we have begun rolling out our booster shots for added protection. We hope that these efforts will help entice visitors to return, especially now that we have developed many new tourism circuits catering to the interests of tourists in this new era of travel,” she said.

The DOT chief recently led the department’s delegation to Korea and met with Korean tour operators such as Kyowon KRT, Modu Tours, and Hana Tours and representatives of government agencies like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.

Also present at the event were representatives from Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Asiana, Air Seoul, T’way, Jin Air, Jeju Air, and Fly Gangwon.

“It is understandable that some may still be reluctant to travel amid the pandemic but let me reassure you that the Philippine Government and tourism industry have instituted measures to keep everyone safe,” Puyat said.