AGRI-TOURISM. A boy poses for a shot with Mt. Mayon in the background in an agri-tourism site in Daraga, Albay. Fe Buela, Department of Tourism-Bicol officer-in-charge, on Wednesday (Oct. 21, 2020) said they will soon reopen over a hundred tourism sites to visitors from outside the region. (Photo by Connie Calipay)
LEGAZPI CITY – The opening of over a hundred tourism sites in Bicol to domestic tourists from other regions would depend on the outcome of a tourism stakeholders’ meeting set next week by the local Department of Tourism (DOT) office.
Fe Buela, DOT Bicol, officer-in-charge, 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.
She said in a phone interview on Wednesday that in the initial talks, 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,” she added.
Buela said they are working out plans on gradually resuming travel and tour activities on a “pilot” basis in the region.
She said the DOT will also be consulting the Bicol Regional Tourism Council (BRTC) in drawing up tourism events and safety nets to recover the multi-million pesos of revenue losses due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Buela said 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.
Buela said the tourism sites allowed to operate were directed to strictly enforce the minimum health requirements by the Inter-Agency Task Force including the wearing of face mask, face shield, washing of hands, and physical distancing. (PNA)