‘Puerto’ tourism sector proposes ‘tourism bubble’

‘Puerto’ tourism sector proposes ‘tourism bubble’

By Glen S. Ramos

PUERTO Princesa City, Palawan — The tourism sector of this city proposed to the city government to open its borders to vaccinated tourists under a “tourism bubble” policy which is already implemented by a number of municipalities in the province.

According to the local tourism industry leaders, they already forwarded an appeal and waiting for the response of the city government to implement the policy this month of December.

“Ang kagandahan ngayon, almost all tourism stakeholder and tourism worker here in Puerto Princesa are vaccinated. Hindi naman natin papapuntahin ‘yang mga tourist na ‘yan sa malalayong lugar na hindi vaccinated. That’s why we are proposing for at least a bubble tourism opening,” Rix Rafols, a business leader stated during a forum held for the purpose.

Rafols added that they are proposing a “dry run” on the tourism bubble policy, with the target of fully opening the city’s destinations by February.

“Iyong kumbaga dry run na, if serious about February 1 na mag-o-open tayo for domestic tourism, magkaroon tayo ng dry run. Marami kaming suggestions, nahihirapan kami sa totoo lang kasi parang stand alone, hindi kami napapakinggan lalo na ‘yong tourist sector. Yes, maraming agam-agam, maraming fears. Pero tanggapin na natin na this will be part of our lives,” he said.

The proposal for the city government is to implement point-to-point bubble tourism ensuring that all local and domestic tourists are fully-vaccinated. A mandatory Rapid Antigen Test for all tourists must be done. All tourists must adhere only to the submitted and approved travel itineraries.

Tourists who will be visiting the city will be sent directly to the city hotel where they are booked once they arrived. They will strictly follow their itinerary, from their destinations and back to their accommodation.

Tourists will be assured that they will only have contacts with vaccinated staff in all the routes of the visit from drivers, tour guides, and hotel staff.

Stakeholders are looking forward to a clear and concrete long-term plan for the tourism industry of Puerto Princesa to thrive again and hoping that their appeal will be granted. (ai/mtvn)

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