International travel might not happen this year

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“International travel might not happen this year. At this point in time, traveling (abroad) is but a dream” – Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Tourism Secretary

Department of Tourism recently announced that travel outside the country even if the enhanced community quarantine is lifted will have to wait until next year.

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

As stated earlier, social distancing is going to be the new norm in the world, and like with tourism. A new normal will apply until a 2019 coronavirus disease vaccine (COVID-19) is found.

“Travel will not revert to normal right away. Even if the ECQ has been lifted, some LGUs will not yet be open to visitors from other places and international travel might not yet happen within the year pending the travel restrictions of other nations,”Puyat told lawmakers at a virtual hearing of the House Committee on Tourism.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) estimated that from January to March this year foreign arrivals were only 1.3 million, 40.2 percent lower than last year’s number of arrivals from the same period, Puyat said.

Similarly, during the same period last year, she added, revenues from foreign arrivals decreased from P134.3 billion to P79.8 billion from January to March this year too.

“For the first few months, we might be limited to creating offers for promoting places that are only a few hours drive away from where the target consumer resides,” Puyat said.

“All of these are being studied and evaluated by the DOT and our private stakeholder partners with regular coordination with the IATF,” she added.

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