MAASIN CITY, July 5 (PIA) — The Tourism department is now preparing its response and recovery plan at the community level, so those in this industry sector can bounce back and regain their livelihood that was badly affected by the raging coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) disease.
Furthermore, Department of tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Benito “Bong” Benzon said guidelines for tourism establishments to re-open in various destinations are now being worked out.
“I-implement na natin itong tourism response and recovery plan para makatulong sa recovery ng ating tourism industry and more importantly maibalik yung livelihood ng ating mga kababayan especially at the community level,” Bengzon said during the Laging Handa Network Briefing (LHNB) Friday, July 3.
“Unti-unti na po nating ginagawan ng guidelines itong tourism establishments para makapaghanda na, makapagbubukas doon sa mga tourist destinations natin,” he added in the LHNB interview hosted by Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).
Benzon emphasized that the gradual springing to life of domestic destinations should be carried out only in areas already classified as under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
In such areas, tourism-related businesses can start to operate at 60 percent capacity, Bengzon stressed, in answer to a question by Matt Manaog of Bombo Radyo-Tacloban, co-host of LHNB on that day, on how the tourism industry in the region can be up and about once again.
“Ito po ang advise ni tourism secretary Puyat dito sa pagbubukas ng atong tourism destination, siyempre, unang una kailangan yong destination ay under MGCQ, under which we can operate 60 percent,” Bengzon reported.
He added, “Yung isa pa naming advise for these establishments particularly itong mga hotels, kapag nakuha na ang accreditation ninyo kailangan rin po kayong kumuha sa regional office namin ng certificate of authority to operate. Ito po kasi ang nagpapatunay na nasundan na ninyo or na satisfy na ninyo yung ating guidelines on health and safety for accommodation establishments.”
“Bakit po mahalaga ito, kasi po itong certificate of authority to operate, ito po yung assurance ng ating mga domestic travelers na andyan yung mga safety protocols natin, siyempre, kapag may safety protocols panatag ang loob ng ating domestic travelers madali na silang pumunta dyan,” the tourism official explained.
The expected compliance of hotels will be matched with resumption of airline flights in coordination with the Department of Transportation, Benzon also said.
Many people observed that tourism-based services suffered deep revenue losses over the past three months as travel restrictions were strictly imposed, at a time when the summer season would have been a great opportunity for people to go on trips anywhere on vacation. (ldl/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)