(But what is it exactly?)
“TRAVEL BUBBLE” is among the new phrases born during the COVID -19 pandemic. It is considered as the “new normal” in tourism. But what is it exactly and how it will affect the tourism industry in the Philippines
Essentially, a “travel bubble” is an agreement between countries, especially those with low COVID-19 cases, to open their borders to each other. This will allow people to move freely within the “travel bubble,” while keeping others perceived as high risk outside the bubble.
It pretty much works like the “social bubble,” where people only interact with others that they consider safe or COVID-19-free.
A “travel bubble” is also called “travel bridges” or “corridors” and is now being implemented in countries such as Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, Indonesia, and UAE.
More countries are expected to follow suit including the U.S.A., United Kingdom, India, Bangladesh, and Australia.
“Travel Bubble” in the Philippines
The Philippines is also among the countries who will use the “travel bubble” policy to help revive the vigor of its tourism industry.
In a Laging Handa briefing back in June 26, Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said that the “travel bubble” policy will permit tourists to fly directly to popular tourist destinations in the country that have international airports.
Puyat said, “”Since zero COVID naman sila, we are looking at, from their country to Boracay or Bohol na puwede na tayo magka-travel bubble or travel corridor so at least hindi lang tayo limited sa international tourism.”
Among the countries that the Philippines is eyeing to establish a “travel bubble” with are New Zealand and Australia.
Moreover, there are currently 10 commercial international airports in the country where the “travel bubble” can be carried out: Manila, Pampanga, Cebu, Bohol, Kalibo in Aklan, Davao, General Santos City, Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, and Zamboanga.
Two of these places with international airports, Bohol and Boracay are set to reopen in the last quarter of the year and will be among the places to implement the “travel bubble” policy.