New face of Philippine tourism after lockdown

Philippine tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that the tourism scene will be “vastly different” in a post-COVID-19 world as the “new normal” standards will be implemented.

“In the past food, culture, and immersion were among the primary influences behind a traveller’s choice of destination. Moving forward, safety would be the paramount concern of most, if not all our visitors. There’s no going back to the way things were, we are all going to have to accept the new normal in travel,” Romulo-Puyat said.

Among the changes that will be implemented is the “re-training” of tourism workers to ensure the health and safety of both tourists and providers.

The tourism department aims to propose more measures such as regular disinfection of accommodations and transport services as well as the provision of personal protective equipment for tourism workers. The capacity of air and land transport is also expected to go down.

To minimise physical transactions, DOT will recommend an online system to digitally facilitate tourism-related transactions.

The tourism department will first focus on domestic travel and short-haul markets like travellers from countries in Southeast Asia.

“By tapping into our domestic and short-haul markets through effective targeted marketing, we can bypass some of the considerable challenges we face following this pandemic. With the confidence to travel at a low point, let us capitalize on the low-hanging fruit within our borders while the rest of the world slowly regains its footing,” Romulo-Puyat said.

As the confidence of travellers grows, DOT will expand its promotions to other international markets. However, DOT and Tourism Congress of the Philippines do not see it happening for another few months.

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