Vaccination drive, strict protocols to revive Subic tourism

THE top executive of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) said that their vaccination program and strict health safety protocols will help Subic revive its tourism industry.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma Eisma cited their expanded vaccination program and conscientious adherence to health safety protocols will help Subic’s tourism industry to recover early despite amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Eisma made the statement during the opening of the Philippine Travel Exchange (Phitex) 2021 opening held at the Acea Subic Beach Resort.

“We have been strictly implementing minimum health and safety protocols everywhere in the free port, including wearing of face mask and face shield, practicing social distancing, sanitizing hands every time, and staying home and not going out unless necessary. These have kept our Covid-19 cases low,” Eisma said.

“We are now focused on having our economic frontliners vaccinated so breadwinners can protect themselves and their loved ones from Covid-19. So we can revive our economy,” she added.

Hybrid event

Phitex 2021 is now in full swing here on September 20-23 as a hybrid event spearheaded by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, the marketing and promotions arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

The event welcomed 156 Philippine sellers and 122 buyers from 33 countries who will engage in a two-day online business-to-business (B2B) session and networking.

Phitex 2021, which carried the theme “Beyond Business: Co-creating Safe, Smart, and Sustainable Tourism,” also provided curated post-tours in bubble arrangements to showcase Subic destinations like Grande Island, Pamulaklakin, El Kabayo and Apaliin that are considered among the best in Central Luzon.

In her message at the PHITEX 2021 launch, DOT Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat underscored the need for safety to sustain tourism.

“Our considerations have been altered by the adverse impact of the pandemic to our industry,” Puyat said. “Safety has become the number one concern of today’s travelers, and it’s something that the DOT, our partners in government and all Philippine tourism stakeholders have carefully taken into consideration when we began the difficult task of plotting the recovery of the industry.”

Puyat also cited DOT's goals to vaccinate all tourism workers by 2022, leverage technology to market and promote tourism products and pursue community-based tourism programs.

Global market

The Subic Bay Freeport became this year’s choice for Phitex 2021, as it met DOT requirements for holding Mice (meeting, incentive, convention, and exhibition) events in wide-open spaces. The event is being held in strict compliance with new normal safety and health protocols and adherence to guidelines set by the Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task Force.

The travel exchange aimed to communicate to the global market that tourism in the Philippines is safe and flourishing with its new product offerings, and to provide support to local sellers, including hosting their accommodation and land-based trips to emerging destinations.

Around 156 seller-tourism establishments participated (33 on-site and 123 virtual) and 122 buyers from 33 countries, including Spain and South Korea, joined the event.


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