AS the Department of Tourism (DOT) seeks to make domestic leisure travel as a huge driver to reboot the Philippine tourism, the House of Representatives wants to accelerate the expanded coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) testing for tourism frontliners.
A recent “Philippine Travel Survey” conducted by the Department of Tourism showed that 77 percent of respondents expressed their willingness to travel to local destinations once restrictions are lifted.
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano supports the plan of the National Task Force against COVID-19 to expand testing strategy covering non-medical frontliners who are not showing symptoms of the disease.
Cayetano also urged the Department of Tourism (DoT) to work with the Task Force Test, Trace, Treat (T3) and its private sector partners to accelerate the plan to conduct COVID-19 testing for the workers in key tourist destinations in the country.
“An aggressive and sustained COVID-19 testing of our tourism frontliners is necessary to facilitate faster recovery in the tourism industry and ensure safe working environment,” said Cayetano.
“With the increased testing capacity in the country, tourism workers can be included in the expanded testing program. This initiative can help build trust and confidence of the domestic tourists as we begin to reopen more economic activities in the next few months,” Cayetano noted.
“73% of the respondents said that they expect health and safety protocols from travel establishments in this New Normal,” the survey noted.
“Now is the best time to assess and plan to rebuild our domestic tourism industry. Our tourism sector needs to adapt, innovate and manage the changing requirements of local tourists as we transition to new normal phase,” Cayetano added.