February 9, 2023

Bagong Lakas ng Indigenous (BALAI) chair Timmy Mondiguing believes the region’s tourism industry will slowly but surely bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic and get back to its former glory.
Mondiguing agreed with the pronouncement of Tourism Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat who expressed optimism that the country’s tourism industry will recover, though not soon.
According to international tourism experts, the general recovery of the global industry from the devastating effect of the Covid-19 virus may take around three to four years.
Data from the Department of Tourism showed that around 5.4 million Filipinos rely on the tourism industry for their livelihood.
The DOT secretary said there are no targets for the second half of the year as some local government units are still not opening their areas to tourism and time is needed to restore confidence of the people to travel.
From January to May, the country has recorded 1.3 million foreign tourists, a 62.2 percent plunge from 3.46 million posted during the same period last year. Due to the travel restrictions for both international and domestic travel imposed for the entirety of April, it generated zero revenues for the industry.
Puyat said while marketing and promotions are continuing for tourism, attention is also paid to highlighting the safety of the destinations, specifically how physical distancing and contact tracing are enforced.
She expects domestic tourism will return with overland trips to destinations near Metro Manila such as La Union, Baler, Pampanga, and Batangas with tourists going first around their municipalities before exploring cities and making inter-island trips.
Mondiguing said he fully supports the DOT’s plan of focusing on the revival of the domestic economy first once local and international travel restrictions are lifted. 
Mondiguing welcomes the gradual reopening of tourism establishments and destinations due to the further easing of quarantine restrictions.
He said he fully understands the apprehensions of some local government units who are reluctant to reopen despite given the green light to do so for fear of catching the Covid-19 virus. – Press release

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