When the Philippines reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travellers on 1 April as part of a gradual reopening scheme that began in February, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has already been gearing up for the country's opening.
“We saw how the international borders affected the jobs and livelihoods of the tourism sector,” said DOT secretary Berna Romulo Puyat. “Given this, I am excited to welcome fully vaccinated tourists from all countries once again, but I am even more excited about seeing the jobs and livelihoods of our tourism workers and stakeholders restored following our full reopening.”
Through the Covid-induced pause in travel, the DOT worked with various partners to develop a total of 112 new tourism circuits across the country’s 14 regions, with an additional 102 circuits currently in development.
These tourism products and experiences focus on the Philippines’ culinary heritage, history and natural features, and also includes experiences in wellness and farm tourism.
These tourism circuits also form the bulk of features in the DOT’s new digital magazine, 7641, a reference to the official number of islands the make up the Philippine archipelago. The content push is part of the department’s efforts at reigniting travellers’ sense of adventure and inspiring them to explore various corners of the country.
Circuits featured include the Bike Trails of Bicol and Central Visayas, Camiguin and Misamis Oriental’s Green Adventure Loop, Davao’s Dive Tourism, Boracay Food Crawl, Farm Tours in the southern Mindanao region also known as SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Saranggani and General Santos City), and the Interregional Cuisine and Culture of Ilocos, Central Luzon, and Cordillera.
On a recent trip to South Korea to win back the country’s largest tourism market pre pandemic, Puyat touted the Philippines as an ideal holiday option, thanks to the high vaccination rate of 97% among its tourism workers.
The Philippine also hosted the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 21st Global Summit, which took place in Manila from 20-22 April.
In mid-March, the DOT also forged a partnership with the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to beef up security in tourist destinations, in anticipation of a rise in inbound traffic.