DOT CHIEF CHECKS READINESS OF PALAWAN

Canimeran Island in Balabac Palawan photo via DepositPhotos.com

EL NIDO, PALAWAN — Eyeing tourism recovery in the reopening of more destinations, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat today checked the readiness of one of the Philippines’ favorite destinations – Palawan.

Visiting El Nido photo by Jules-bss via unsplash
Visiting El Nido photo by Jules-bss via unsplash

The tourism chief consulted and dialogued with local officials and tourism stakeholders to discuss the recovery of the tourism industry in the province. Puyat said that the DOT wants to restart tourism in the province but wants the process to be “slow but sure.”

Puyat said that the DOT is trying to restart local tourism economies to help businesses and workers cope with the losses because of the pandemic.

San Vicente Palawan photo courtesy of DOT
San Vicente Palawan photo courtesy of DOT

Three tourist destinations in Northern Palawan – Coron, El Nido, and San Vicente, incurred losses amounting to P3.1 billion in tourism revenues, and resulted to some 14,000 displaced tourism workers.

Tourism Secretary Puyat scans a Quick Response (QR) code for check-in procedures as tourism establishments adapt to digitalization and new normal
Tourism Secretary Puyat scans a Quick Response (QR) code for check-in procedures as tourism establishments adapt to digitalization and new normal

The tourism chief reiterated the DOT’s thrust to promote domestic tourism, adding that the department would provide the necessary assistance to the province after Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez announced the decision to soon allow tourism in their province.

“The Department of Tourism sees domestic travel as the catalyst to reviving our industry. We are happy that Governor Alvarez had earlier expressed his intention to reopen tourism in the province as early as possible, and we will be pleased to work with you towards recovery every step of the way,” said Puyat.

Palawan Governor Alvarez echoed Puyat’s sentiments in ensuring health and safety for these areas before opening up for tourism.

Health and safety remains the top priority as tourism reopens in Palawan as discussed by Tourism Secretary Puyat, Governor Alvarez and El Nido Mayor Edna Lim (right)
Health and safety remains the top priority as tourism reopens in Palawan as discussed by Tourism Secretary Puyat, Governor Alvarez and El Nido Mayor Edna Lim (right)
L-R Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, El Nido Mayor Edna Lim, Tourism Promotions Board COO Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, and Ten Knots Development Corporation COO Javier Hernandez in front of the El Nido backdrop after the site inspection
L-R Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, El Nido Mayor Edna Lim, Tourism Promotions Board COO Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, and Ten Knots Development Corporation COO Javier Hernandez in front of the El Nido backdrop after the site inspection

Immediate plans for the health and safety protocol dry run in El Nido are already set, followed by San Vicente. At the same time, Coron awaits its real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines before further plans for reopening.

Also in the meeting were Representatives Franz Alvarez and Gil Acosta, and El Nido Mayor Edna Lim, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, and San Vicente Mayor Amy Alvarez.

Club Agutaya in San Vicente Palawan
Club Agutaya in San Vicente Palawan

Meanwhile, Puyat reminded the tourism players to present that the safety and health of guests and tourism workers should not be compromised in the resumption of tourism operations. The DOT chief added that only DOT-accredited establishments with Certificates of Authority to operate will be allowed to reopen.

Palawan has been under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) since June 1 with tourism and leisure activities allowed at 50 percent.

Want more updates about new tourist attractions in El Nido, Palawan? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, and TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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