Interview with Secretary, Bernadette Romulo-Puyat at TRAVEL FUTURE: Embracing the new world of tourism. Key takeaways include:
ON DOMESTIC TOURISM
We had a travel survey with more than 12,000 respondents all over the Philippines. Based on the results, 96 percent of the respondents want to see certified disinfecting protocols. 86 percent expect tourism enterprises to implement self-service processes such as contactless check-in, online booking, and digital payment, among others. 77 percent wanted to travel even in the absence of a vaccine.
Majority of our tourism contribution is still from domestic tourism.
Tourism contributed 12.7 percent to the Philippine economy, 10.8 percent of which is from domestic tourism.
We’re trying to make tourism more inclusive by promoting all the products used by our indigenous tribes. It’s like an offshoot to help various indigenous tribes. It’s what we’re bringing in to tourism.
ON INBOUND TOURISM
We recently got the World SafeTravel Stamp from the WTTC. This is such a boost for us because it proves that we passed the world standards.
We are looking at travel bubbles, partnering with other countries, wherein tourists could go directly to tourism destinations.-We are starting off with domestic tourism first as a dry run to make sure all of the health and safety protocols are in place.
I have always been pushing for contactless technology. The one good thing about the pandemic is that people were forced to transition to the digital world.
Digital technology has greatly helped tourism. Even when there is a vaccine, our stakeholders said that people will still go contactless, go digital because it has made life easier. It has made the tourism industry more vibrant.
ON SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
The environment of Boracay is definitely a winner now. It was such a challenge when we closed Boracay. People didn’t really care about the environment. They began to see its importance when we closed it. People are now valuing it.
We have been pushing for the regulation of the carrying capacity for the longest time. Now, all of the local government units have realized the importance of this.
ON THE WAY FORWARD
The industry is vulnerable and it proves that the Filipinos are really resilient.
We can restart tourism with health and safety protocols in place.
The Department of Tourism is helping all the DOT-accredited establishments to be digitized, be contactless. It shows that everybody can adapt to all these challenges.