About 70 sellers of travel and tour services in the country will have the chance to be among the first to sample what is in store for visitors when the tourism industry reopens amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Philippine Travel Exchange (Phitex), which is the government’s largest annual travel trade event, is formally launching its “travel bubbles and corridors” initiative here in the province of Bohol, with Panglao Island as its model.
The event which is set from September 19 to 27, is in line with government’s efforts to reopen tourism in the country, and hopefully save millions of jobs that are dependent on the travel industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a virtual press briefing on Wednesday, Gov. Arthur Yap said the provincial government has been preparing to open up some selected destinations in the province for domestic and international tourists.
Yap said the travel bubble initiative will start with the Island of Panglao, as Bohol’s best-known destination and being home to one of the country’s new international airports.
Participants of the travel bubble will be taken to Panglao Island to sample how it is to travel under the new normal and for a first look on what the destination has to offer under the pandemic, Yap said.
“The Panglao travel bubble experience intends to show those who want to travel the challenges and excitement they will face in the new normal,” Yap said.
Phitex organizers are also aiming to give participants a chance to get a glimpse of the protocols that the provincial government of Bohol is implementing, replicate best practices that they could apply, and hopefully help restart recovery of the tourism industry in the country.
Gov. Yap said Panglao has set an initial capacity of 3,000 tourists per day when the government starts adopting the travel bubble.
The governor said business establishments in Panglao have been evaluated to determine those that meet established protocols and public health standards. Establishments that are given accreditation and issued an UBE Seal, or Ultimate Bohol Experience, by the provincial government are the ones that will be allowed to accept guests. (KB, AD)