If Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puuyat will have her way, traveling around the country should dominate our travel plans for 2020, and it seems DOT is busy preparing this mindset and allocating billions of pesos for it to happen.
In a press conference right after meeting with the Tourism Coordinating Council composed of 25 agency bodies for national tourism development. Among its members are the heads of concerned national agencies and government offices, DOT-attached agencies, non-governmental organizations and the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) representing the private sector.
Puyat revealed that 6 billion pesos have been set aside to enhance domestic tourism in the shadow of the Covid-19 global scare.
“The DOT’s new direction is to push domestic tourism now that inbound arrivals are expected to decrease with several travel bans in place. The DOH current data will show that traveling around the country remains safe highlighting the fact that we don’t have any local transmission,” she declared.
Puyat enumerated how the billions of pesos in funding will be spent.
421 M to develop a new campaign for domestic travel.
467 M has been reallocated to create engaging content that will resonate to countries unaffected by Covid-19.
752 M for tactical programs conducting and participation of international events and market development initiatives worldwide.
11.2 M as direct support to the private sector, the DOT and TPB will waive participation fees for international trade and travel fairs up to December.
1.6 B for night rating of secondary airports from a program with the DOTr
85 M will be put for training for Covid-19 orientation, preparedness, response, and protocols for industry stakeholders will be allocated.
400 M to aid the local government units in developing their own tourism master plan.
2.2 B for infrastructure development and expansion to be identified an coordinated with the LGU particularly the top tourist spots specifically sewage treatment plant (STP) of 500 M for Coron and 300 M for Puerto Galera.
“We want to be assured that measures are in place to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19 to the tourism sector, and we are happy to know that our government is all out in ensuring that the effect of the virus is contained, at least in the Philippines,” Puyat imparted. (Buddy Recio)