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Puyat to grace Baguio reopening; DOT to go big on domestic tourism in 2021

Domestic tourism will be the main concentration of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in rebuilding trust and confidence in the travel market for next year.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that “the year 2021 will be about local tourism.” She added that tourism is the “backbone of many local economies,” citing Baguio City and Region 1 as examples of communities dependent on the industry for employment and livelihood.

“The country’s summer capital and Region 1 have been designated as pilot areas for the gradual reopening of tourism with a maximum of 200 visitors per day. Residents of the region will be allowed to visit Baguio, subject to the minimum health standards set by the Department of Health (DOH). Restarting tourism is our priority. Kailangan pong magkaroon na ng mga trabaho ang mga nawalan ng trabaho,” said Puyat.

Citing regional tourism as part of the innovation programs, she said that the department continually conducts dialogues and consultations with different LGUs and stakeholders wishing to slowly reopen.

The tourism chief will personally grace the launch of the Ridge to Reef program of the country’s summer capital on September 22, allowing visitors from nearby Region 1.

The DOT through the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) committed to fund relevant projects including the V.I.S.I.T.A., or the Visitors Information and Tourist Assistance app to manage the arrivals of tourists in Baguio City.

Puyat said the DOT is optimistic that the travel bubble program can be replicated in other areas in Visayas and Mindanao where COVID-19 cases are nil or very low.

“By pursuing domestic tourism while international travels are halted by the pandemic, the DOT will work hard to bring back jobs and promote the Philippines as a safe and fun tourism destination, through the help of information technology and communication campaigns,” the tourism chief added.

Published:January 28, 2021

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