PH tourism industry braces for reopening

THE Department of Tourism (DOT) has  urged stakeholders to start preparations to be able to adhere to the new health and safety guidelines as the industry gears for the re-opening of tourism amid the easing of restrictions caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, in a statement said "the DOT shall be at forefront and will be relentless in ensuring all stakeholders are ready when we reopen tourism by strictly adhering to our new guidelines for all sectors of the industry."

In line with the DOT's priority effort to roll out its new health and safety standards as well as the Inter-Agency Task Force on the management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) restrictions among tourism stakeholders nationwide, the Local Government Unit (LGU) of San Juan, La Union recently conducted spot inspections among tourism stakeholders in its popular beach and surfing area and clamped down on enterprises that have violated national and local government issuances during the period of quarantine, the DOT said.

A local bar was temporarily closed by the LGU until such time minimum health and safety protocols were in place such as physical distancing and implementation of a local ordinance on noise pollution.

Accommodation Establishments (AEs) were also inspected by the DOT in relation to their application for a Certificate of Authority to Operate as mandated by the IATF-EID.

On Wednesday, the DOT said it was investigating the alleged breach of travel restrictions in Boracay on June 12, four days before the resort island was reopened to local tourists from Western Visayas.

Reports said a female employee of the Bureau of Fire Protection had partied on the island with several others while waiting for the results of her COVID-19 test. The BFP employe later turned out to be positive for COVID-19.