More tourism areas start catering to home crowd
THE HUNDRED Islands National Park in Alaminos City is among the latest tourism sites to reopen for the local crowd as the government banks on domestic travelers to help bail out the industry that is among the most affected by the coronavirus crisis. The park reopened on July 1 for residents of Pangasinan’s 1st District at least until Aug. 31. The district is composed of the towns of Agno, Sual, Anda, Bani, Bolinao, Burgos, Infanta, Dasol, Mabini, and Alaminos City. “Health protocols and guidelines have been laid to ensure your safety, health and wellbeing during your visit,” the City Tourism Office said in a post on its Facebook page. Among the guidelines include a limit of 1,000 guests per day for the island tours, with priority to be given those who will make reservations online or via phone call. Fifteen accommodation establishments in the city have also been given a certificate to operate by the Department of Tourism. The city and the rest of Pangasinan are under the modified quarantine category, where tourism facilities are allowed to operate at 50% capacity. As of July 5, the city had six confirmed coronavirus cases, of whom four recovered, one under treatment, and one died.
Boracay, the country’s most popular beach destination for both local and foreign tourists, was the first to reopen for residents of the Western Visayas Region. Tourism establishments in Panglao, Bohol have also resumed operations for the provincial market. In Mindanao, some of the areas that have reopened to local tourists include Davao Oriental, Samal, and Bukidnon. Last Friday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat visited another tourist favorite, Palawan. Three of the most popular areas in the province — Coron, El Nido, and San Vicente — are being prepared for reopening. “The Department of Tourism sees domestic travel as the catalyst to reviving our industry. We are happy that Governor (Jose C.) Alvarez had earlier expressed his intention to reopen tourism in the province as early as possible, and we will be pleased to work with you towards recovery every step of the way,” Ms. Puyat is quoted in a statement.