THE Department of Tourism (DOT) intends to craft a development plan focusing the promotion of local destinations in a bid to restart the tourism sector.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said domestic tourism will lead to the recovery of the industry amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
She cited the results of the Philippine travel survey which showed that 77 percent of respondents were willing to travel to local destinations once restrictions are lifted.
“We had a Philippine travel survey, and it shows that 77 percent of the respondents are willing to travel even in the absence of a vaccine, 48 percent of this number says that they are willing to travel within six months from the lifting of travel restrictions,” Puyat said during the hearing conducted by the House of Representatives committee on appropriations on the DOT’s proposed 2021 budget.
Puyat said, however, that there is currently no development plan for domestic tourism. Other constraints are limited access to different tourist locations in the country and lack of promotion for locally produced goods.
“First there is no tourism development plan, so that is what we are planning to do because based on the tourism development plan, you would know what would be the priorities of that particular tourist destination and we were hoping that it would be under Tieza [Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority],” Puyat said.
“Number two is the access, so we were also hoping with Tieza, we would be able to help the different airports. Number three would be the promotion of products. What we are doing now, because of Covid, we are looking at each and every tourist destination or not even the main tourist destination to look at possible tourism products that can be developed in light of Covid,” she added.
DOT is proposing a P3.52-billion budget for 2021.
The agency plans to allocate P111.27 million for its Covid-19 pandemic response and set aside funds for various local tourist spots.
DOT seeks to allocate P 90,300 for the Intramuros Administration and P230,230 for the National Parks Development Committee. (Jove Moya/SunStar Philippines)