Latest Philippines Tourism News: Siargao is now open for local tourists

cloud 9 siargao philippine tourism news

We know you’re itching to travel again. But till that day arrives, here’s all the updated Philippines tourism news to help you know when it is to travel safely and keep you updated. With these timely Philippines travel updates, we hope to take you one step closer to your dream holiday! We will travel again soon.

Read updated Philippine Tourism news below.

Siargao is now open for local tourists

guyam island siargao philippine tourism news

November 21, 2020

This is not a drill. The Philippines’ surfing capital, Siargao Island, is now open for domestic tourists.

The reopening was also confirmed by Mayor Cecilia Ruson of the municipality of General Luna, Surigao del Norte through a local executive order.

“This is encouraging news for everyone who loves the sea, especially the surfers. As Siargao reopens to travelers, subject to minimum health and safety standards, the people of the island will regain their livelihood and share their paradise to our kababayans once more with the same level of hospitality they have always been known for,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

Flights to Siargao will resume on December 1, the DOT said, allowing travelers from outside the region to visit the teardrop-shaped island through Sayak Airport near the barangays of Del Carmen and General Luna.

Source: Department of Tourism

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Ilocos Sur reopens to Luzon tourists

horse carriage at calle crisologo in vigan

November 22, 2020

Another Philippine tourism news that will light up the travelers. Ilocos Sur is welcoming Luzon tourists!

Ilocos Sur first welcomed back tourists from Ilocos region and Baguio City with the launch of the ridge and reef corridor last month.

A maximum of 50 visitors per day will be allowed to ensure effective crowd control aside from the strict implementation of minimum health protocols.

Tourists will be required to present several documents upon arrival at the border of Tagudin and Sinait towns, such as a negative swab test result within 48 hours prior to their travel, a digital or printed SafePass QR code, a confirmed itinerary from a DOT-accredited tour and travel agency, a DOT-accredited accommodation and transport booking as well as a government-issued ID.

Visitors will be required to take an antigen test upon arrival. Those who intend to stay for more than three days must take another antigen test on their fourth day, which is valid for another three-day stay.

The DOT said 18 tourist sites in Ilocos Sur are now open. Ten diving spots will also be opened to the public. These include the Heritage Village in Calle Crisologo, Ilocos Sur Adventure Zone, Caniaw Heritage, and Forest Park, Nuestra Senora De La Asuncion Church, Pinsal Falls, Moro Watch Tower, Hidden Garden, Baluarte Zoo, and the Ilocos Sur Dancing Fountain. Ten diving spots in different barangays will likewise be opened to the public.

Source: Philippine Star

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Cebu City eyes new outdoor tours to attract more visitors

oslob cebu

November 18, 2020

The Cebu City Tourism Commission (CCTC) plans to offer new tourism products to travelers visiting the provincial capital.

CCTC chairperson Jocelyn Pesquera said they will be developing coastal tours in the city, which is hoped to become a new tourist draw as the industry eventually recovers next year. They are looking to take advantage of the city’s long coastline stretching from the South Road Properties, which is seeing rapid commercial developments, to the city’s ports in the downtown areas.

Development works for the coastline tour project are expected to take off in 2021, Pesquera said in a statement.

In addition, developing mountain tours will also be prioritized to offer tourists more outdoor experiences.

Pesquera said they also plan to expand tour routes that would explore the city’s historical connections to the American and Japanese era.

Source: Philippine News Agency

baguio hotel latest travel news philippines

November 10, 2020

More than 7,200 hotels, resorts, and other accommodation establishments (AEs) have been authorized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) to operate under different quarantine classifications and cater to different types of travelers, depending on their location and purpose.

“Not only will a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) or a provisional CAO from DOT indicate the allowable operation of accommodation establishments, it likewise adds to guests’ confidence, knowing that these establishments have been inspected and are compliant with our protocols that follow globally-recognized health and safety standards.” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

Puyat said that the regions with the highest number of hotels and resorts issued with CAOs and PCAOs by the DOT are Region 4-A with 1,303, Region 3 with 830, and Region 1 with 806.

Meanwhile, inbound travel to the Philippines for tourism remains restricted. Puyat said the DOT shall continue its coordination with national government agencies under the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), local government units (LGUs), and stakeholders to safely reopen more destinations for domestic tourism, and steer the industry to recovery.

The Secretary likewise encourages accommodation and other tourism-related establishments to apply for DOT accreditation which remains free-of-charge and can now be done online through an Online Accreditation System that the agency launched in September.

Source: Department of Tourism

PH hailed as Asia’s leading beach and diving destination

boracay magagandang tanawin sa pilipinas

November 3, 2020

It looks like we already know where to travel after the pandemic.

The 27th World Travel Awards recognized the Philippines as Asia’s leading beach destination and Asia’s leading dive destination in 2020.

The award-giving body also declared the Department of Tourism (DOT) as this year’s leading tourist board in Asia, besting 11 nominated countries.

This is the Philippines’ fourth time to win Asia’s Leading Beach Destination and the second time to win Asia’s Leading Dive Destination, following a number of nominations for categories since 2006. And this is the second time for the DOT to win Asia’s Leading Tourist Board.

Meanwhile, both the Philippines and the DOT have the following remaining nominations under the world category of the 27th World Travel Awards:

  • World’s Leading Beach Destination 2020: Philippines
  • World’s Leading Dive Destination 2020: Philippines
  • World’s Leading Island Destination 2020: Siargao
  • World’s Leading Tourist Board 2020: The Philippines, Department of Tourism
  • World’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2020: Intramuros

Source: DOT, Philippine News Agency

Intramuros is Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction

intramuros makasaysayang lugar sa pilipinas

November 3, 2020

The World Travel Awards on Wednesday hailed the famed walled city of Manila, Intramuros, as Asia’s leading tourist attraction in 2020.

This recognition comes a day after the award-body recognized the Philippines as Asia’s leading beach destination and leading dive destination.

Source: Philippine Star

Travel PH app launched to keep tourists updated on open destinations

travel philippines app

Photo credits to app.philippines.travel

October 30, 2020

The Department of Tourism and the attached agency Tourism Promotions Board launched “Travel Philippines” – the country’s official travel app which provides users access to the latest travel advisories and safety guidelines in various destinations that have reopened to tourism.

The travel app allows users to create itineraries for their future trips, find up-to-date information on their favorite tourist attractions, and securely store digital copies of travel documents.

The app works online and offline and has the capability to run on all the known devices and browsers such as desktop and tablet, among others.

The app during the launching featured six major tourist destinations that are now allowing the entry of local tourists – Palawan, Boracay, Bohol, Baguio, Ilocos Norte, and Metro Manila. Readers can access the app here.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Palawan, Boracay listed among world’s most beautiful places

philippine travel news boracay palawan

October 30, 2020

Two of the Philippines’ famous destinations Palawan and Boracay are eighth and 18th, respectively, in the list of “50 Most Beautiful Places in the World” by Big Seven Travel, edging some of the world’s strongest contenders and tourist magnets such as Venice, Italy (43rd), Cappadocia, Turkey (30th), Angkor Wat, Cambodia (26th), and Paris, France (24th).

The global travel site praised Palawan’s “immaculate string of islands” and mentioning Boracay that it is one of the world’s top destinations for rest and recreation.

Boracay opened its shores to domestic tourists, including from those in areas under general community quarantine last October 1. Palawan, on the other hand, is currently assessing its El Nido-Manila travel bubble launched in July 2020 and expanded on Friday. 

Source: Philippine News Agency

Bohol will reopen to local tourists starting November 15

tourists in bohol

October 29, 2020

Latest Philippine Tourism News: Starting November 15, Bohol will reopen to local tourists as long as they test negative for COVID-19.

Bohol Governor Arthur Yap said tourists who plan to visit the island must present a 72-hour negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) COVID-19 test result prior to entering the province.

“So if you have a valid negative PCR test result to COVID, then you can register, let us know about that, mabibigyan kayo ng QR [quick response] code. You will use that QR code to register then you can now book your stay with accredited establishments,” Yap explained.

Local tourists can register and get their QR codes via tourism.bohol.gov.ph.

Yap noted that do-it-yourself trips are not allowed, but the local government will provide guided itineraries to travelers.

Keep following ZEN Rooms for the latest travel updates in the Philippines.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Related article: Bohol Itinerary: Best Places to Visit and Budget Guide All in One

GCQ in Metro Manila extended by a month, until Nov. 30

Metro Manila GCQ News

October 27, 2020

Latest Philippines travel news: President Rodrigo Duterte once again extended the implementation of the general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila for another month.

In a taped interview, the president said that the National Capital Region (NCR) will be under GCQ until November 30. 

Aside from Metro Manila, also under GCQ until the end of next month are the provinces of Batangas and Lanao del Sur, and the cities of Iloilo, Bacolod, Tacloban, and Iligan.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

El Nido expands travel bubble starting Oct. 30—DOT

ph travel updates el nido easing travel restrictions

October 26, 2020

El Nido is easing its travel restrictions to welcome more tourists, including Manila residents, starting October 30, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said. 

The expanded travel bubble would allow tourists to enter the island, provided they undergo and submit a negative RT-PCR test result at least 72 hours before their trip.

No specific information has been released yet by the DOT as local authorities iron out details for the travel bubble’s expansion.

“There are nine establishments for now that have obtained a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) and 27 establishments with Provisional Certificate of Authority to Operate (PCAO) from the DOT and which may start accommodating guests,” DOT said.

Source: Philippine News Agency

PH reopens doors to foreigners, particularly those with investor visas starting Nov. 1

woman at the airport

October 26, 2020

Latest Philippines travel news: Starting November 1, the Philippines is reopening its doors for certain foreigners, particularly those with investor visas.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the foreigners allowed to enter the country must still abide by certain conditions set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) such as having valid and existing visas as well as a pre-booked quarantine facility.

The latest decision on easing travel restrictions on some foreigners was contained in IATF Resolution No. 80 following a meeting via video conference Thursday.

Also allowed entry to the Philippines are foreigners with the 47(a)(2) visas issued by the Department of Justice as well as those visas issued by the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, according to Roque.

Roque said the foreigners must have valid and existing visas at the time of entry as well as a pre-booked accredited quarantine facility.

In addition, they must be subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry as well as abide by the country’s immigration laws, rules, and regulations.

Roque clarified that the government has not yet relaxed its entry restrictions on foreign tourists.

Source: Manila Bulletin

ZEN Rooms will keep you posted on this latest travel update in Philippines

Ilocos Sur to welcome more tourists from Luzon starting Nov. 15

horse carriage at calle crisologo in vigan

October 23, 2020

Starting Nov. 15, Ilocos Sur will reopen its doors to more tourists from Luzon “once all systems and health and safety measures are in place,” the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.

Ilocos Sur first welcomed back tourists through a travel corridor linking the province with Baguio City, La Union, Pangasinan, and Ilocos Norte.

Some of the tourist destinations in Ilocos Sur are the Vigan Heritage Village and Calle Crisologo, Plaza Salcedo Dancing Fountain, Bantay Bell Tower, Santa Maria Church, and Plaza Burgos.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

DOT-Bicol plans reopening of tourism sites to ‘outsiders’

a carabao and a stunning view of the mayon volcano

October 23, 2020

DOT-Bicol said plans are being ironed out in consultation with local government units and industry stakeholders, especially with regard to their respective travel and health protocols in case the different tourism sites are reopened to domestic travelers.

Some LGUs were amenable to reopening their tourism sites to visitors from other regions on conditions that travel and health protocols are strictly enforced. Camarines Sur has agreed to open their tourism destination, DOT-Bicol added.

The opening of the tourism sites would take place soon once the agreement with LGUs and the BRTC is approved.

Last month, 104 sites across the region were opened including beach resorts, island destinations, natural tourism areas (mountain, waterfalls, and river cruising), cultural and historical places, and landmark sites, but only to Bicolanos.

Source: Philippine News Agency

Metro Manila mayors recommend GCQ in NCR until year-end

Metro Manila NewsOctober 21, 2020

Metro Manila mayors are seeking to keep NCR (National Capital Region) under GCQ (General Community Quarantine) until Dec 31, 2020.

The announcement came from Metro Manila Development Authority General Manager, Jojo Garcia, who said that keeping the NCR in GCQ was discussed in a meeting that had 17 local chief executives and several members from IATF Inter-Agency Task Force.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez was also consulted and he agreed that keeping the NCR in GCQ while slowly relaxing the rules is the safest way to open the economy.

The Metro Manila mayors will submit a recommendation to the IATF which will then be presented for recommendation to President Duterte.

Aside from the above,  quarantine restrictions on people aged 18-65 will also be eased for and they will be allowed to leave their homes for non-essential travel.

In the coming days until Christmas, Metro Manila cities and municipalities, except for Navotas, are also set to shorten the curfew timings to 12 AM – 4 AM.

Source: CNN Philippines

Coron, Palawan possible to welcome local tourists again this October

tourists at kayangan lake

October 19, 2020

Good News! Coron, Palawan may very soon open for local tourists!

In an announcement posted by Coron’s municipal tourism office, town residents will be allowed to engage in tourism activities beginning October 26, while those coming from the Calamian Island group will be permitted to enter the area starting November 16. The tentative reopening date for tourists nationwide is on December 1.

“We’re waiting for the approval from the regional IATF. Once approved, we have to prepare for the airport. We have to meet with the airline [companies], and of course the business establishments,” Mayor Mario Reyes Jr. said.

No guidelines were announced yet.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, Region 3 residents allowed to visit Baguio starting Oct. 22

Bagui weekend getaway near manila

October 17, 2020

Starting October 22, Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, Region 3 residents will be allowed to visit Baguio.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the maximum of 200 guests allowed in Baguio per day shall still be implemented to ensure proper visitor management.

New health and safety measures on the reopening will be finalized in coordination with the technical working group of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), she said.

The city government of Baguio has also decided to relax its documentary requirements for tourists in its Baguio Visitor Information and Travel Assistance or “VISITA.”

Visitors are no longer required to book their itineraries through a DoT-accredited tour agency. However, they will still be required to book in a DoT-accredited accommodation establishment issued with a Certificate Authority to Operate

Source: Manila Bulletin

Philippines Lifts Ban on Non-Essential Outbound Travels Starting October 21

an asian girl waiting outside the airport

October 16, 2020

The Philippines has lifted its ban on non-essential outbound travel effective October 21, Malacañang said Friday.

Filipinos traveling abroad must present the following:

  • Submission of confirmed roundtrip tickets
  • Adequate travel and health insurance for those traveling in tourist visas
  • Execution of an immigration declaration acknowledging the risks involved in traveling
  • Negative Antigen result taken within 24 hours before departure, subject to the Department of Health guidelines 

Upon their return, Filipino travelers must adhere to the protocols set by the National Task Force for OFWs. Included in this are mandatory COVID-19 testing and quarantine until they turn up negative for the virus.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Diving now allowed in Batangas—DOT

anilao batangas scuba diving

October 14, 2020

Batangas is now accepting guests for recreational diving according to the Department of Tourism.

“Dive establishments in Batangas Province, insofar as the area is still under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), are hereby determined to be permitted to accept guests for Recreational Diving, taking into consideration the general preparedness of the area and its impact on the tourism industry,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

While guests of all ages from GCQ and modified GCQ areas are welcome, the activity is off-limits to those with comorbidities and currently pregnant, she added.

Source: Philippine News Agency

DOT issued guidelines for recreational diving under ‘new normal’

beautiful coral reefs in the philippines

October 13, 2020

As the country eases into the reopening of sports tourism activities with the easing of quarantine restrictions, the Department of Tourism has issued health and safety rules for recreational diving.

The guidelines require guests to bring their own set of scuba gear and equipment box. Divers are reminded of the liberal use of hand disinfectants and hand washing throughout the day, the practice of physical distancing and the wearing of protective face masks when not on an actual dive.

Even when on dive boats, boat crew and passengers must wear face masks and observe physical distancing. Dive boats must also be disinfected before and after use.

The dive establishments are also required to provide a defog solution consisting of soap or shampoo for guests to use on their dive masks. Spitting on the mask or the use of saliva as a defogger is prohibited.

“Violation of any of these guidelines will subject the dive establishments to appropriate fines and penalties, including the revocation of PCSSD accreditation,” Puyat said.

Distance learning or e-learning in teaching the theory part of the dive course is also encouraged. Dive schools are also advised to use current technology and digital platforms and to refer to their certifying agencies for further instruction, available materials, and training techniques.

In case physical training is unavoidable, classrooms may be set up according to physical distancing requirements. Smaller classes with a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio are highly encouraged.

Source: Philippine News Agency

Ilocos Norte to reopen for Luzon tourists on October 15

facade of paoay church

October 9, 2020

Starting October 15, Ilocos Norte will welcome travelers from Luzon. 

Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Marcos Manotoc said the province is ready to welcome visitors from Luzon, even those coming from areas that are under general community quarantine, after seven months of closure to tourists since the declaration of enhanced community quarantine across Luzon.

Ilocos Norte only set an initial target number of 50 tourists per day in a bid to prevent COVID-19 spread.

All tourists are required to secure a travel authority, medical certificate, accomplish a health declaration form not earlier than 48 hours before departure for Ilocos Norte using the Stay IN app, and show a negative rapid antigen test within 48 hours before arrival at the border checkpoint. Said original documents and IDs must be presented at the border for verification.

Source: Department of Tourism

Dive tourism in GCQ, MGCQ areas given green light

beautiful coral reefs in the philippines

October 9, 2020

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has allowed dive shops and resorts in “special areas” under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ to accept tourists traveling for recreational diving.

Based on IATF resolution No. 78, tourists covered by the soon-to-be issued guidelines are those from similar community classification or GCQ and MGCQ areas.

The agency is also instructed to take into consideration the general preparedness of the area and its impact on the tourism industry. Also included in the guidelines would be the test-before-travel requirement.

No specific destinations were identified yet by the DOT as of this posting.

Source: Philippine News Agency

Cebu, Palawan, Siargao, and Boracay named among top 10 islands in Asia

empty beach in malapascua island

October 7, 2020

The Philippines did it again!

International travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler has named Cebu and Visayan Islands the best island in Asia in its 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards.

“Cebu draws nearly 2 million travelers annually for its pristine beaches and diving off the island’s northern coast. Spanish and Roman Catholic influences permeate Cebu City; Basilica Minore del Santo Niño houses a small statue of Christ that was presented by Ferdinand Magellan,” said travel writer Caitlin Morton.

The islands of Palawan, Siargao, and Boracay also made it to the top 10 in Asia list, ranking fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively, to give the Philippines the most slots in the ranking of the prestigious international travel magazine.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Pagudpud resorts ready for tourists

empty beach in pagudpud ilocos norte

October 6, 2020

Resort owners in Pagudpud town in Ilocos Region are ready to host tourists with great optimism they can recover from their losses due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Tourism stakeholders are gearing up to host visitors again but they have to comply with government regulations to ensure that tourists will not be bringing infection in the province.

Since the Oct. 1 gradual opening of tourism in the province for Region 1 and Baguio City residents, Provincial Tourism Officer Aianree Raquel said tourists have started to come in but they are limiting the entry of visitors to 50 persons per day only.

“We want to start slowly but surely,” said Raquel, adding it may take some time for people from the tourism industry to bounce back to normal.

Source: Philippine News Agency

Boracay visitors may get up to 75% discount on room rates—Aklan gov

majestic view of boracay

October 5, 2020

Good news for Boracay visitors! Tourists can get up to 75% discount on room rates in Boracay Island, Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores said.

Miraflores said tour operators and establishments in Boracay agreed to offer the discount to “offset” the cost of the COVID-19 testing, which is among the requirements for visitors of the world-famous island resort.

Tourists who want to visit Boracay must have a negative RT-PCR test result not earlier than 48 hours before they travel. This rule, however, exempts Aklan residents.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Palawan-based tourists may now visit El Nido

tourists kayaking at el nido lagoon

October 1, 2020

Palawan-based tourists, both foreign and local, may now travel to El Nido following an executive order from the local government unit (LGU). 

But Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said El Nido Resorts is the only establishment on the island which allows tourists from general community quarantine areas (GCQ) like Metro Manila since its soft reopening in July.

Tourists will be required to undergo the usual mandatory health checks and are asked to comply with the government’s minimum public health and safety standards. 

They are also required to accomplish health declaration forms through the El Nido tourism website or using the QR code provided by the local tourism office. 

Pre-booked accommodation bookings at accredited hotels and other establishments are also a must.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Bohol may reopen to tourists in November — governor

tourists in bohol

October 1, 2020

Bohol will reopen to tourists from across the country possibly in November, according to Governor Arthur Yap.

But only Panglao Island will be initially opened for tourists, Yap said. According to him, this will serve as a trial to determine effective measures that they can also implement in more destinations when they open.

The tourism in Bohol opened on June 21 but for the residents of the province only, Yap said.

Source: GMA News

PNP travel authority no longer needed for local tourists visiting Boracay

aerial shot of boracay

September 30, 2020

Local tourists who plan to visit Boracay Island beginning Oct. 1 no longer have to secure a travel authority from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said a negative result from a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test at least 48 to 72 hours prior to travel would suffice.

Local tourists are also required to accomplish online health declaration forms and confirmed accommodation bookings prior to check-in.

The Department of Tourism also advised travelers to keep the tourist QR codes that were developed to access services in Boracay Island.

Last month, DOT announced that Boracay will reopen for tourists starting Oct. 1.

Source: Manila Bulletin

 

DOT releases guidelines for ‘staycation’ in GCQ areas

girl in hotel staycation

September 29, 2020

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has issued strict guidelines for “staycations” as part of the government efforts to re-start the economy through tourism.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat signed the administrative order which allows “staycations” for persons of all ages, except those with underlying medical conditions, within areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Here are the guidelines in the administrative order:

  1. Negative antigen results – Guests are required to present negative antigen test results from a rapid antigen test conducted on the day of check-in.
  2. Cashless transaction – Contactless and cashless transactions are mandatory for taking bookings and payments to promote minimal physical contact among staff and guests.
  3. DOT Certificate of Authority to Operate – For establishments under GCQ, this certificate must be secured from the DOT. They should follow a strict set of guidelines on guest handling, including the maximum number of guests per room and other safety protocols.
  4. Reopening of other function areas – According to the administrative order, hotels and other establishments may now also reopen their gyms, swimming pools, restaurants, and other beverage outlets aside from bars, which are prohibited in areas under GCQ.

Source: Philippine News Agency

ZEN Rooms will keep you updated on this latest staycation travel update in Philippines. 

Bohol might reopen for tourism in October —Palace

chocolate hills in bohol

September 28, 2020

Bohol province might welcome tourists again next month, Malacañang said Monday.

“I understand Bohol might be opening soon, within the month of October, if I’m not mistaken. So unti-unti naman pong nagbubukas ang ating mga tourist spots,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.

Source: GMA News

Metro Manila and other areas stay under GCQ until October 31

manila skyline

September 28, 2020

Metro Manila and several areas will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) October 31 after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the government’s coronavirus task force to keep these areas under GCQ.

Aside from NCR, Bacolod, Tacloban, Iloilo City, Batangas and Iligan will also stay under GCQ.

Lanao del Sur will be under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) for the duration, while the rest of the country will remain under or shift to the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Source: Rappler

DOT Issues Advisory To Hotels For Staycations Under GCQ

manila skyline staycation
 

September 28, 2020

DOT on Sep 27, issued an advisory to DOT-star hotels in the National Capital Region regarding staycations under General Community Quarantine (GCQ). 

A memo was released on Sunday by DOT-NCR Regional Director Woodrow Maquiling Jr. which said that 4-star and 5-star hotels may send their Letter of Intent (LOI) if they wish to participate in the staycation program approved by Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against COVID-19 and the department. 

Upon receiving an LOI, the Department will then physically inspect the property and if everything is found in order, it will issue a Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycation (CAOS). 

About two weeks ago, DOT said it received approval from the government’s pandemic response task force to allow staycations or short-term leisure stays in hotels. 

“That marks the beginning of the reopening of our tourism industry here in Manila,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

Tourism in the Philippines was badly hit due to COVID-19 restrictions however this initiative by the DOT brings a sigh of relief to the tourism industry that wants to bounce back. 

Source: ABS-CBN

Boracay now open for tourists nationwide starting Oct. 1—DOT

boracay

September 23, 2020

Starting October 1, Boracay Island will  accept visitors from all over the country. 

Tourists from places under a general community quarantine and modified GCQ classifications including Metro Manila will then be allowed to visit the island, but foreign tourists will remain prohibited.

“This development came as a result of a special meeting convened by the principals of the Boracay Interagency Task Force (BIATF) led by its Chairperson Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Co-Vice Chairpersons Interior and Local Government Secretary Ed Ano and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat with Province of Aklan Governor Joeben Miraflores on 22 September,” the tourism department added.

DOT said they will implement a “Test Before Travel” rule, which requires all visitors to have a negative result of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) 48 to 72 hours prior to traveling to Boracay Island.

Travelers are also mandated to undergo “strict quarantine immediately after a test and until the time of travel to the island.”

The “Test Before Travel” regulation will also permit tourists from areas under general community quarantine status to visit the island, Puyat said.

Also, the DOT said travelers aged below 21 and above 60 years old are allowed to visit Boracay as long as they have no comorbidity or worse health conditions.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

80% of restaurants in Tagaytay reopen for tourists

 

September 21, 2020

Nearly 80% of food establishments in Tagaytay City have reopened for tourists in a bid to boost the city’s economy amid the pandemic.

Tagaytay administrator Gregorio Monreal said tourists are now allowed in the city as long as they follow minimum health standards like wearing face masks and observe physical distancing.

But senior citizens, those below 21 years old, and pregnant women will not be allowed to enter establishments.

Top tourist spots in Tagaytay City such as Picnic Grove, People’s Park, and Sky Ranch have likewise reopened to the public.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Region 1 ‘tourism bubble’ opens September 22

 

September 20, 2020

Starting September 22, tourism bubble will open in Region 1 covering the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan, and this city.

City Tourism Officer Engr.  Alex Mapalo said the city will only accept tourists coming from these four provinces in Region 1 during phase 1 of the opening of its borders to visitors.

Tourists must pre-register at the online visitors registration system using the VIS.I.T.A application  (Visitors Information and Tourist Assistance) that is available on android and IOS.

Initially, only 200 tourists a day will be allowed in the city for easy monitoring of movement.

Guests, who may have relatives or friends in the city, will not be allowed to stay in residential homes, and are constrained to book hotel accommodations to abide by health sector recommendations, and keep residential areas free from travelers.

Source: Manila Bulletin

IATF okays Staycations in GCQ areas

 

September 12, 2020

In a bid to jumpstart tourism in the Philippines, staycations will soon be allowed after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) recently approved hotels to accommodate guests who would check-in for leisure purposes even if the area is under GCQ.

“Upon the recommendation of the Department of Tourism (DOT) to explore various ways in restarting tourism activities during quarantine, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved during its Principals Meeting on 10 September 2020 to allow staycations under GCQ,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

She added that a staycation must involve a “minimum overnight stay for leisure purposes” in a DOT-accredited accommodation establishment located near one’s residence.

The DOT said they would soon issue a memorandum circular on staycations under GCQ based on comments and suggestions of the IATF-EID.

The memorandum circular would have specific regulations on all aspects involved in this activity, ranging from the maximum allowable number of persons in a guestroom to the use of ancillary services, such as restaurants and recreational areas.

Source: Philippine News Agency and Philippine Star

PH bags “Best Overseas Diving Award 2020”

 

September 4, 2020

The Philippines was awarded as the Best Overseas Diving Area in the Marine Diving Awards 2020 held recently in Tokyo.

Garnering 814 out of the 3,572 total votes cast by subscribers of the Marine Diving Magazine, the Philippines was number one for the first time in the Overseas Diving Category. The magazine cited the country as “the first pick for many diving lovers.”

“This award is a testimony that diving is more fun in the Philippines, with each underwater paradise offering a unique adventure and experience to behold, and return to. Our underwater landscape is a colorful kaleidoscope of nature’s living jewels, one that divers cannot find anywhere else,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo- Puyat said.

Source: Department of Tourism

3 PH destinations among the “spectacular diving sites” in the world

 

September 3, 2020

Not just one, but three Philippine destinations were included among the list of spectacular diving sites in the world by the largest travel guide book publisher, Lonely Planet.

These destinations are the Tubbataha Reefs National Park in Palawan, Amos Rock in Puerto Princesa City, and Moalboal in Cebu.

Source: Department of Tourism

Tagaytay opening its doors to tourists

 

September 6, 2020

Tagaytay City now welcomes tourists who would like to visit the place under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status, City Administrator Gregorio Monreal said Saturday.

However, tourists should follow minimum health standards including physical distancing, and wearing of face masks. Monreal added that checkpoints at entry points to Tagaytay will be maintained.

Private vehicles traveling to and from Tagaytay will be allowed provided that physical distancing is observed inside the vehicle, Tolentino added.

Source: GMA News

DOT prepares for ‘gradual re-opening’ of tourist spots

 

September 5, 2020

The Department of Tourism (DOT)  said it has been working with local government units, concerned agencies, and stakeholders to gradually reopen the country’s tourism industry “consistent with the President’s direction.”

They also added that its regional offices have already identified several tourism circuits that can be reopened in light of the new normal.

“Similar to the Ridge to Reef Corridor of Baguio City with the Provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan, these circuits may either be inter-region or inter-provinces depending on the readiness of the local governments to accept new visitors,” the DOT said.

The DOT said it expects the granular resumption of domestic tourism by the last quarter of this year and until the first six month of 2021. It also foresees regional international visitors by the second half of 2021, once border controls are lifted by other countries.

Source: Manila Bulletin

NCR remains under GCQ; 3 cities revert to stricter quarantine measures until September 30

 

August 31, 2020

President Duterte decided to keep the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Bulacan and Batangas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) while three other areas revert to stricter quarantine measures until September 30.

In his speech, President Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to keep the following areas under GCQ for the entire month of September:

  • Metro Manila
  • Bulacan
  • Batangas

While the following areas revert to stricter quarantine measures:

  • Iligan City from modified GCQ (MGCQ) to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ)
  • Bacolod City (from MGCQ to GCQ)
  • Tacloban City (from MGCQ to GCQ)

All places not mentioned are under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

Source: Manila Bulletin

BI allows foreigners with visas to leave PH anytime

naia tourists

August 31, 2020

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has again eased its requirements for departing foreigners to prevent crowding in immigration offices as the COVID-19 cases continue to surge.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said foreign nationals with visas approved by the BI may now leave the country before they could be issued their alien certificate of registration identity card (ACR I-Card). According to Morente, they will no longer require departing aliens with approved and implemented visas to secure an ACR I-Card waiver order.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Baguio City to open tourism in September to local residents only

tourists at minesview park

August 30, 2020

Baguio City government is planning to reopen all the parks, and the night market, as well as resume with the weekly pedestrianization of Session Road in September for local residents only. But the reopening of tourism for visitors, especially those coming from Manila or elsewhere remains suspended.

No specific date has been set yet for the reopening of tourism this month.

Source: Manila Bulletin

5 nations lift inbound travel restrictions on Filipinos amid pandemic

airplane taking off at naia

August 23, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has received reports that five new countries have lifted inbound restrictions on Filipino travelers, subject to medical protocols such as proof of purchase of health insurance, institutional or home quarantine, and presentation of a negative COVID-19 test result, among others.

In an advisory, the DFA said that these countries are Brazil, Kiribati, United Kingdom, Benin, and Chad.

On the other hand, while general entry is not yet allowed in Canada, Armenia, Slovak Republic, and Kuwait, these countries have imposed stricter medical protocols for those who are exempt from entry restrictions such as their returning citizens, diplomatic, and United Nations passport holders.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal back to GCQ until August 31

manila skyline

August 17, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has returned Metro Manila and nearby provinces to a general community quarantine (GCQ) from August 19-31 as proposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The following areas will be under GCQ are Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Quezon, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City in Cebu, and the municipalities of Minglanilla and Consolacion.

The rest of the country will be under modified GCQ.

Under GCQ, more establishments will be allowed to open at varying levels of capacity.

Among the industries that could resume full operations are the following:

  • agriculture
  • fishery
  • forestry
  • food manufacturing and its entire supply chain
  • food retail (supermarket, market, and restaurant for takeout and delivery only),
  • healthcare (hospitals, clinics, drugstores)
  • logistics
  • information technology
  • telecommunications
  • media

Establishments that could operate at 50-100% capacity:

  • mining and other manufacturing
  • export-oriented
  • e-commerce companies
  • delivery for essential and non-essential items
  • repair and maintenance services
  • housing and office services

For these establishments, a 50% onsite work and 50% work from home arrangement would be implemented

  • financial services
  • business process outsourcing
  • legal and accounting and auditing services
  • professional, scientific, technical and other non-leisure services
  • other non-leisure wholesale and retail establishments

Face shields now required for international, domestic passengers

travelers at naia

August 15, 2020

All international and domestic passengers are required to wear face shields aside from face masks.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr)  issued a directive mandating face shields in public transportation. All passengers are required to wear face masks upon arrival at the airport and wear the face shields prior boarding the aircraft. Aside from wearing masks and face shields, passengers are also required to bring their negative COVID-19 results or certification and present to airline staff at the counters.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Kadayawan Festival to be staged online

happy street dancers during the kadayawan festival

August 10, 2020

The celebration of “Kadayawan sa Dabaw” will be done online from August 17 to 24, a first in the 35 years since Davao City’s grandest and most colorful festival began.

In an interview with  Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Mayor Sara Duterte said the local government has lined up a few activities for the Dabawenyos, which could be viewed through Facebook live and Zoom, in celebration of Kadayawan this month.

Duterte highlighted the importance of pursuing the festival even online as it was a celebration of bountiful harvest and of the cultural diversity of the indigenous peoples.

Source: Manila Bulletin

 

Baguio eyes reopening of tourism in September

burnham park baguio

August 9, 2020

Baguio City tourism office announced on social media of their plans to gradually re-open tourism, with regulated, controlled entry and monitored movement, by September.

Tourists will be required to pre-register through the Baguio VIS.I.T.A. (Visitor Information & Travel Assistance), an online registration system to help the city operation center for list of tourists who wish to visit the city. Once the tourist registers online, they will see the guidelines on how to proceed.

Among the requirements are to pre-book accommodation, preferably through accredited tour operators, and tourists should declare their itinerary.

Tourists are also required upon entry to undergo mandatory triage and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, the expense for which would be shouldered by the tourist. The tourist will also have to stay in the hotel until the results are released.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Hundred Islands now open to all Pangasinan residents

hundred islands pangasinan

August 9, 2020

The famous Hundred Islands National Park (HINP) is now open to all Pangasinan residents with the continued modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status in effect in the province, provided they comply with set requirements and health protocols.

Only residents of Pangasinan, aged between 21 and 59 years old, will be allowed to visit the HINP.

Source: Manila Bulletin

No public transport allowed under MECQ — DOTr

 

August 3, 2020

Public transportation will be suspended anew in Metro Manila and other areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Based on the guidelines of the Department of Transportation for public transport operations, only public shuttles will be allowed to transport frontline workers or those who will return to work in allowed industries under the MECQ.

This means that buses, jeepneys, taxis, ride-hailing services, as well as all railway systems such as PNR, LRT-1, LRT-2, and MRT-3 will not be allowed to operate and ferry commuters.

Source: Manila Bulletin

 

Whale shark watching in Oslob, Cebu resumes

whale shark oslob cebu

August 2, 2020

Cebu has reopened the tourism industry in the town of Oslob, marking the start of the gradual recovery of one of the hardest-hit industries by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the tourism activities that the province now allows include whale shark watching, snorkeling, trekking, diving, and island-hopping.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Traveling public are advised to secure complete documents before coming to Cebu port

cebu port

August 2, 2020

The Cebu Port Authority (PCA) called on the traveling public to secure all the necessary documents and requirements to travel before coming to the ports as the government geared up for the resumption of travel of locally stranded individuals (LSIs), repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and authorized persons outside residence (APOR). 

Each passenger will be required to present a medical certificate issued by the City or Municipal Health Office, a travel authority issued by the Philippine National Police (PNP), a letter of acceptance issued by the local chief executive of the receiving local government unit, a boat ticket, and a valid ID or any official document that sufficiently identifies the passenger. These will be presented at the Port Main Entrance of Pier 1 and Pier 3, otherwise, they will be refused entry into the port area.

Source: Manila Bulletin

IATF eases age restrictions on Boracay Island visitors

 

July 23, 2020

Inter-agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has eased the age limit restrictions for tourists entering Boracay Island in Aklan after the Departmen of Tourism requested to relax the age limit requirement for tourists.

But DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said even with the lifting of the ban on younger and older tourists, the existing policy on allowing only residents of Western Visayas region to visit the island remains. This means that only residents from the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental can go to Boracay.

Source: Manila Bulletin

IATF approves essential outbound travel

 

July 23, 2020

Filipinos can now proceed with their essential overseas trips after IATF allowed essential outbound travel.

Based on IATF Resolution No. 57, essential outbound travel of Filipinos is now allowed but subject to the following condition

  1. The execution of a Bureau of Immigration (BI) declaration acknowledging the risks involved in traveling, including the risk of delay in their return trip, to be provided for in the check-in counters by the airlines.
  2. Upon return, they shall follow the Guidelines of Returning Overseas Filipinos of the National Task Force.
  3. The omnibus guidelines of the IATF on interzonal travel were likewise amended to allow Filipinos leaving for abroad to pass through checkpoints subject to the presentation of sufficient supporting documents.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Non-essential overseas travel of Filipinos, suspended anew

 

July 23, 2020

Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has temporarily banned non-essential outbound travels of Filipinos because only one travel insurance in the Philippines agreed to adhere with the conditions to cover rebooking, accommodation expenses and hospitalization should a traveler contract the virus Malacañang sokesperson Harry Roque said.

Roque, however, noted that travelers with confirmed bookings as of July 20 will be allowed to fly out of the country.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

 

Philippines named “Best Diving Area, Overseas”

 

July 20, 2020

After Palawan has been named the “Best Island in the World,” the Philippines is set to receive another international award as it was named as the “Best Diving Area, Overseas” in the 2020 Marine Diving Awards in Japan. Subscribers of one of Japan’s leading magazines, Marine Diving, voted the Philippines as the Best Diving Area, Overseas.

Source: Manila Bulletin

Foreigners with long-term visas may again enter PH

 

July 18, 2020

Starting August 1, the government will allow foreign nationals with long-term visas to enter the Philippines.

Foreigners with long-term visas who wish to travel to the country should have valid and existing visas at the time of entry. “However, no new entry visa application shall be accepted,” the IATF said.

Foreigners should also pre-book an accredited quarantine facility and a COVID-19 testing provider.

IATF also added that their entry into the country is also subject to the maximum capacity of inbound passengers at the port and date of entry.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

GCQ in Metro Manila is extended until July 31

 

July 15, 2020

Metro Manila will stay under general community quarantine (GCQ) until July 31 after President Rodrigo Duterte rejected the proposals to place NCR under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

According to Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque, Duterte initially agreed to return NCR to the more stringent MECQ as proposed by UP to curtail the further spread of the respiratory disease.

However, Roque said the president changed his mind after COVID-19 response Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año appealed to keep NCR under GCQ, which has been its status for six weeks now, citing the promise of the region’s mayors to implement stricter enforcement of health protocols and quarantine restrictions.

Source: GMA News

Cebu City placed under MECQ

 

July 15, 2020

Meanwhile, Cebu City lockdown downgraded to MECQ from ECQ until July 31. Despite the easing of restrictions, Roque explained city residents would be allowed only to go out for essential travels like buying necessities or going to work if they belong to an industry whose members were already allowed to resume work. Public gatherings would still be prohibited, except for those with only five people.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Palawan recognized as “Best Island in the World”

 

July 13, 2020

And so Palawan once again, named as the Best Island in the World by international travel magazine Travel + Leisure!

Palawan scored 94.83 in the survey of the magazine to regain the “Best Island in the World” title. Last year, it placed second. The Department of Tourism also highlighted that Palawan has so far topped the World’s Best Islands list four times already.

Aside from Palawan, Boracay also made it to the list, placing 14th with a score of 88.22.

This is the third time that the Philippines was recognized since community quarantines were implemented due to the COVID–19 pandemic. Forbes magazine ranked the Philippines among the seven countries “that have the potential to become a major tourist destination in a post–COVID world”; Last month, Condé Nast Traveler (CNT) cited the Hidden Beach in El Nido, Palawan, as one of the 30 Best Beaches in the World.

Source: Travel + Leisure and Department of Tourism

Travel ban on Filipinos now lifted

 

July 7, 2020

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed non-essential travel for Filipinos, Malacañang said on July 7.

Malacañang Spokesperson Harry Roque said travel of Filipinos abroad would now be allowed provided that traveling individuals adhere to certain conditions, which include the following:

-Submission of confirmed roundtrip tickets for those traveling on tourist visas

-Adequate travel health insurance to cover rebooking and accommodation expenses

-Allowed entry by the destination country in accordance with travel, health and quarantine restrictions

-Execution of a Declaration acknowledging the risk of the travel

Source: Philippine News Agency, GMA News, and Philippine Daily Inquirer

 

DFA: 31 countries have lifted inbound border restrictions on Filipinos

 

July 5, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirms that a total of 31 out of 177 countries and territories have already lifted the inbound border restrictions on Filipino travels, subject to medical protocols on arriving passengers. Among the newly-added countries who have recently opened their borders to Filipinos include Bahamas, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Source: DFA

Malacañang: Travel agencies in GCQ areas can reopen

 

July 3, 2020

Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) have allowed travel agencies in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) to resume operations. Travel agencies, however, are limited to the use of a skeleton workforce once they reopen to the public

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

International flights at NAIA Terminal 3 resumes beginning July 8

 

July 3, 2020

Starting July 8, international flight operations at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 will finally resume, according to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA).

Flights of All Nippon Airways (ANA), Air Asia Berhad (AK), Cathay Pacific (CX), Emirates (EK), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM), Qatar Airways (QR), Singapore Airlines (SQ) and Turkish Airlines (TK) will arrive and depart from Terminal 3. International operations of other airlines assigned in Terminal 3 however remain suspended to date. These are Cebu Pacific, Delta Air, Qantas Airways, and United Airlines.

Meanwhile, NAIA Terminal 2 continues to service international arrival flights of Philippine Airlines. PAL international departures on the other hand operate from NAIA Terminal 1 as of now. Airlines assigned in NAIA Terminal 1 shall remain in Terminal 1. These airlines are Air China (CA), Air Niugini (PX), Asiana Airlines (OZ), China Airlines (CI), China Eastern (MU), China Southern (CZ), Etihad Airways (EY), Eva Air (BR), Ethiopian Airlines (ET), Gulf Air (GF), Hong Kong Airlines, Japan Airlines (JL), Jeju Air (7C), Jetstar Asia (3K), Jetstar Japan (GK), Korean Airlines (KE), Kuwait Airways (KU), Malaysian Airlines (MH), Oman Air (WY), Royal Brunei Airlines (BI), Saudia Airlines (SV), Scoot (TR), Thai Airways (TG) and Xiamen Air. Some foreign carriers operating in Manila also service repatriation flights.

Source: NAIA / MIAA

DFA: Filipinos now allowed to enter 25 countries

 

July 2, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Filipinos will be allowed to enter 25 countries that have lifted their border restrictions on Filipinos arriving from the Philippines for essential travel. These countries include the United States of America, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and New Zealand.

The DFA said 78 other countries have eased their travel restrictions on Filipinos coming from the Philippines including Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Camp John Hay to open for Baguio residents starting June 30

 

June 28, 2020

Some areas of Camp John Hay in Baguio City will be opened to Baguio residents starting June 30, according to the Baguio City Public Information Office (PIO).

Residents may use certain facilities of Camp John Hay every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 6 am to 7 pm starting June 30.

Source: GMA News

DOT eyes allowing foreign tourists from countries with low COVID-19 cases

 

June 26, 2020

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is eyeing the implementation of “travel bubbles” where foreign tourists from countries with low or zero COVID-19 cases will be allowed to visit select destinations in the Philippines.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Condé Nast Traveler names Hidden Beach one of the world’s 30 best beaches
 
June 22, 2020

Palawan does it again!

The Department of Tourism (DOT) celebrates the inclusion El Nido, Palawan’s Hidden Beach, in the prestigious luxury travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler’s (CNT) “The 30 Best Beaches in the World” feature released on June 21.

Hidden Beach was described as a piece of paradise concealed by “imposing limestone cliffs and with startlingly bone-white sand separated from the turquoise ocean by a small keyhole-like opening” where visitors could visit through climbing the small keyhole-like opening formed by the cliffs to access the mesmerizing lagoon.

Source: Manila Bulletin

‘Bubble tourism’ will be new norm in Philippines amid pandemic —TCP

 

June 19, 2020

The Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) is looking at “bubble tourism” or limited travels between safe zones to gradually restart the industry while the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a Senate hearing, Senator Francis Tolentino raised that this has been practiced by New Zealand and Australia. He asked if the same can be expected in the country to resuscitate the tourism industry.

In a travel bubble, a set of countries agree to open their borders to each other but keep borders to all other countries closed.

Source: GMA News

Boracay reopens to tourists from Western Visayas

 

June 15, 2020

Here’s some great news! Starting June 16, Boracay will reopen to local tourists from Western Visayas. These are tourists from Aklan, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, and the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod. Natividad Bernardino, Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group general manager, said Boracay could be opened to other local tourists if the island or Aklan can maintain its coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-free status. Let’s hope Boracay opens for the rest of the Philippines too. Can’t wait to enjoy the chill vibe and happening scenes at the most popular island in the Philippines. Till then, stay safe and stay home 🙂

Source: Philippine Star

 

LGUs allowed 23 more airports to operate commercial flights

June 15, 2020

23 airports have been allowed by local government units (LGUs) to operate for commercial flights amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). In a Facebook post on Sunday, CAAP presented a list of airports that are allowed by their respective LGUs to have commercial flights. There was also a list of airports that have yet to receive the go-signal to operate.

Source: GMA News

 

PAL to resume 8 more domestic flights

June 10, 2020

Philippine Airlines (PAL) will resume eight more domestic flights in the next two weeks following the easing of travel restrictions: one additional daily flight from Manila to Cebu and back and one four-times-a-week flight on the same route starting June 15; A daily flight to Bacolod, a three-days-a-week flight to Caticlan and Roxas and a six-days-a-week fight to Iloilo will commence on June 16; and the Iloilo flight will operate daily starting June 22.

Also on June 10, a four-times-a-week flight to Dipolog will be mounted; this would be increased to five-days-a-week on June 22. Two twice-a-week Manila-Laoag-Manila flights will be mounted by PAL starting June 16, Villaluna said.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

 

Forbes names PH one of rising stars in post-quarantine travel

 

June 4, 2020

With the current situation brought by the pandemic, many people are now eager and itching to travel once more and the excitement goes up after countries relax their travel restrictions, including the Philippines.

While the global tourism scene is on hold right now because of the pandemic, the Philippines continues to grab attention from the world stage because of the country’s undoubtedly beauty.

Forbes Magazine recently named the Philippines as one of the rising stars or have the potential to become major tourist destinations in a post-COVID world.

Forbes highlights the 7,641 islands to choose from that has something to offer for even the most finicky of tourists. From Metro Manila and Quezon City to Boracay and Palawan, Forbes recognizes the country as a great destination.

Source: ABS-CBN

 

Baguio to reopen possibly on September

June 3, 2020

According to tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong plans to reopen the country’s summer capital sometime in September despite being under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). Ideally, most areas under MGCQ have now started operating their businesses and even some tourism-related activities. But Puyat said the local chief executive wants to make sure that travelers will be safe when they enter Baguio City.

Source: Manila Bulletin

 

Bohol government plans to welcome tourists either in July or August

June 3, 2020

Bohol Governor Arthur Yap told DOT Secretary Puyat that he plans to welcome visitors to Bohol either in July or August. To ensure everyone’s safety, Yap wants to put up a RT-PCR lab to test because he wants everybody to enter to test negative of COVID-19.

Source: Manila Bulletine

 

New Rules Await Passengers as Flights Resume in 8 PH Airports

 

June 3, 2020

Commercial flights are set to resume in at least eight airports in the country this week as the country relaxes travel restrictions, but passengers should be prepared for the new rules.

The Philippine Airlines (PAL) advised that those taking international flights should be at the airport four hours before their departure, while those taking domestic flights should be there three hours before their plane leaves.

Passengers are also encouraged to travel as light as possible, with just one small carry-on baggage. Everyone is also obliged to wear a mask or face cover and physical distancing of at least one meter should be respected inside aircraft and terminals.

Passengers should also move as little as possible within the cabin, and not line up outside toilets to lessen the risk of infecting other passengers.

People will be assigned specific toilet stalls on the plane in relation to where they are seated. Flight attendants will be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) that could include visors, gloves and medical masks.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

 

‘No registration, no swimming’ Policy Implemented in Boracay

 

June 3, 2020

Swimming with physical distancing is now allowed in Boracay, but those who wish to do so will need to log their information for contact tracing purposes.

Boracay will start accepting tourists but only those who have prior bookings or reservations in hotels and resorts. Incoming tourists shall be verified at the Caticlan and/or Tabon Port by the Department of Tourism VI and Municipal Tourism Office.

People are only allowed to swim in four beaches for swimming from 6 am to 6 pm and must maintain two meters distance from each other.

They are also encouraged to bring their own gear such as goggles and snorkeling masks, as renting equipment is still prohibited.

Other establishments in Boracay have been allowed to reopen, provided that the local government unit has given them a certificate and they maintain minimum public health standards. Tourism establishments who wish to resume operations must apply to the Department of Tourism Region VI.

Source: GMA News

 

8 Designated Areas for Swimming in Boracay

 

June 1, 2020

The LGU Malay Facebook page provided the eight (8) areas designated for swimming.

1. In front of White House (Station 1)

2. In front of Willy’s Rock (Station 1)

3. In front of the Elizalde Compound (Station 1)

4. In front of D’Mall (Station 2)

5. In front of Mandarin Hotel (Station 2)

6. In front of La Carmela (Station 3)

7. In front on Paradise Garden (Station 3)

8. Puka Beach (Barangay Yapak)

Source: GMA News

 

DOT Welcomes the Resumption of Tourism Operations in Areas Under MGCQ

 

May 30, 2020

The DOT welcomes the gradual re-opening of tourism operations in light of the varied community quarantine levels across the country, hoping to pave the eventual recovery of the Philippines’ tourism industry.

Travel for tourism purposes may be allowed only between places under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), and subject to travel restrictions imposed by the Local Government Units (LGUs). Only essential non-leisure travel between General Community Quarantine (GCQ) to MGCQ areas or vice-versa is allowed.

Tourist destinations that will re-open during the MGCQ are still subject to the approval of their LGU Officials and must adhere to the health and safety guidelines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF–EID).

Source: Department of Tourism

Be sure to always check this blog for weekly updates about the travel situation in the Philippines.

 

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