Motoring tourism caravan encourages us to safely rediscover the country’s sights and sites
IT APPEARS THAT, following the slow and safe reopening of several provinces to visitors in an effort to reinvigorate their local economies, over-land travel has indeed become the mode of choice among many Filipinos. Going on road trips in private vehicles has allowed people to feel safer and more in control of the environment they’re in, and has thus opened the doors for tourists to trickle into several holiday destinations in the country.
Two weeks ago, we talked about how Nissan Philippines was championing the revitalization of land travel for tourism in the Philippines. This week, I’d like to delve into the adventurous world of motorcycle riders and how they’ve also been slowly gravitating back into domestic tourism. These riders experience traveling in a very different way — more intimate, and more immersed in the physical journey itself.
You see, if you are a motorcycle rider, your senses are more heightened during the journey proper. You smell everything you ride by, you feel warm under the sun, you get wet in the rain, and you hear everything around you. You also don’t have a moment to spare because your full attention is required to stay safe on the road. It is a completely different experience — and a very exciting one! And it is only natural that Filipino riders now long to travel as well.
Having said that, the Department of Tourism (DoT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) of the Philippines recently launched its “Motourismo” motoring tourism caravan, which aims to encourage Filipinos to safely rediscover on two wheels the country’s most beautiful sights. The Motourismo project is also a collaboration with the Department of Transportation (DoTr), RidePH, and a plethora of motorcycle rider clubs and associations in the Philippines.
“By initiating this safe, yet very thrilling and worthwhile campaign to promote motorcycle tourism through the TPB, we want to restore the confidence of the public to travel domestically and to help the tourism industry bounce back from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis,” shared Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat during a recent online press conference.
“The tourism industry refuses to ride into the sunset!” she exclaimed, and added that they will also be tapping select motorcycle riders — appointing them as tourism ambassadors who can help promote motorcycle travel as a secure and viable mode of transportation to explore the country in search of fun and diverse experiences.
The benefits of such a tourism stimulus are vast. It can largely help locals who have lost their jobs, jump-start small businesses, and assist struggling tour operators stay afloat by giving them the opportunity to create new tour programs to be offered to visiting riders. Furthermore, this may also serve as a good platform to thoroughly disseminate information about the recommended health and safety protocols for travelers.
Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat also shared that, hopefully, when all their plans come into fruition, they may soon also be able to offer subsidies to motorcycle riders who need to take a COVID-19 RT-PCR test as part of the requirements to travel to other provinces. They are working on partnering with the Philippine General Hospital in order to be able to extend subsidized swab tests to make the prospect of visiting other holiday destinations more attractive, especially during this time when everything we need to do seems to have gotten a tad more complicated.
Hopefully, these efforts to encourage and educate Filipinos on how to safely rediscover the Philippines and its delicious, regional food while on two wheels will steer us all in the right direction towards getting back on our feet, or should I say, wheels.