DoT plans ‘regional circuits’ to revive tourism

THE TOURISM department said on Thursday that it is gearing towards the opening of “regional circuits” to start the industry’s revival. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Fatima T. Romulo-Puyat, speaking during yesterday’s 2021 budget hearing of the House of Representatives committee on appropriations, said these circuits will be patterned after the “Ridge and Reef Travel Corridor,” a kind of travel bubble initiated by Baguio City and the four provinces in Region 1. Ms. Puyat said domestic leisure travel “will lead Philippine tourism recovery” while international travel is not expected to pick up at least until next year. “Tourism officials and industries continue to recalibrate targets and prepare accordingly based on various forecasts,” she said. To boost local tourism, the Department of Tourism (DoT) is proposing to allocate P915 million for branding and marketing support for domestic travels out of its total P3.78 billion budget in 2021. Based on DoT’s 2020 Philippine Travel Survey Report, 77% of 12,732 Filipino respondents are willing to travel in the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, of which 48% say they will travel within six months from the lifting of restrictions. Ms. Romulo-Puyat, in a separate interview with BusinessWorld, said the strength of Philippine tourism lies in the domestic market. “We are building on the main strength of the industry – domestic tourism,” she said, “But this will be through active engagement with the LGUs (local government units), the private stakeholders and the local community.”— Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

Dumaguete City eyes quarantine pass system instead of Nov. 1-2 closure of cemeteries

DUMAGUETE CITY is planning to use quarantine passes to manage the number of people in cemeteries during the November 1-2 holidays instead of implementing a closure, a policy that has been adopted by several other local governments. Mayor Felipe Antonio B. Remollo, chairperson of the city’s inter-agency task force (IATF) on managing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis, announced on Thursday that he will convene the team next week to discuss the schedule for residents per barangay and for those who will be coming from other towns and cities. Representatives of the Catholic Church and management officers of the cemeteries will also be invited. “(T)he remembrance of the dead is among the most enduring tradition for Roman Catholics, thus it would be impossible to deprive the people of the chance to observe this solemn occasion,” Mr. Remollo said in a statement. Dumaguete City hosts two public and five private memorial parks. The city, capital of Negros Oriental province, has no COVID-19 case as of Sept. 16 after recording six recoveries and two deaths. It has 285 people under quarantine and monitoring. Negros Oriental as a whole has 157 recorded cases, with 29 active, 124 recoveries, and four deaths.

Davao’s young entrepreneurs partner with Fujian Electronic to boost e-commerce 

THE DAVAO City Young Entrepreneurs Association (DCYEA) and the Fujian Electronic Commerce Association have sealed a partnership for the promotion of e-commerce. “In today’s business environment, e-commerce offers a range of opportunities and it now becomes a necessity for a business to be successful,” Nicole Hao-Bian, president of Davao City group, said in a phone interview after the virtual signing of their memorandum of agreement on Wednesday. Under the agreement, Davao’s young entrepreneurs will have access to vital resource sharing, business matching opportunities, international benchmarking and strategic partnership and alliances. Ms. Bian said through this cooperation, they will be able to help Davao City create a surge in e-commerce growth, especially among the younger generation who are more technology-driven. “DCYEA will take an active role in empowering fellow entrepreneurs and contributing to the city’s economic development through this strategic partnership with the Fujian Electronic Commerce Association,” she said. The partnership is among those forged during the Fujian-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Conference held virtually earlier this year. — Maya M. Padillo