Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said yesterday the DOT is focusing on domestic tourism over international tourism amid the ongoing pandemic.
In a press conference, Puyat said the DOT registered more domestic tourists with 110 million in the past year as compared to the international tourists with just 8.2 million.
“We focus first on domestic tourism right now in order for the industry to bounce back,” she said.
Puyat said they are not keen on opening the country yet to international tourists due to the new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) variants.
However, DOT also looks forward to catering to foreign tourists in the near future, once the Covid-19 situation is better, she added.
“As of now, overseas Filipino workers are allowed to enter the country,” she said.
She added that they are asking the Inter-Agency Task Force for shorter quarantine days to further encourage tourists to come.
“Even though tourism is open, they are not patronizing it because of the quarantine that takes up most of their vacation leave,” she said.
Puyat said they are also encouraging island destinations to conduct their own vaccination to boost the immunization program among tourists.
She is confident that, as more and more people are vaccinated, it will give higher chances for the opening of international tourism.
“You shouldn’t only protect tourists but also the workers and the locals,” she added.*PNA