MANILA – Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat confirmed on Wednesday that President Rodrigo Duterte is visiting Boracay on March 12 to join efforts in lifting the public’s mood to travel around the Philippines.
Aside from promotions, the Chief Executive will also inspect what has been done on the island since it was rehabilitated.
“It’s the first time that he’s (Duterte) going to Boracay since it opened so he will probably also look at the changes in Boracay and, of course, it’s his way of promoting domestic tourism,” Romulo-Puyat told a press briefing.
Boracay’s arrivals suffered from the various travel bans imposed by the government to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
On the island, the occupancy rate is 40 percent down, Romulo-Puyat said.
As the Covid-19 situation progresses, Romulo-Puyat said the private and public sectors are collectively keeping the tourism industry afloat.
The DOT convened the Tourism Coordinating Council (TCC) in an emergency meeting to discuss measures that would mitigate the outbreak’s impact.
No less than the Department of the Interior and Local Government assured the establishment of protocols down to the barangay level.
The Department of Transportation, meanwhile, assured that strict protocols are in place particularly in the cleanliness of the airports and in close coordination as well in the sanitation of the airplanes.
On the other hand, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources committed to strengthening environmental protection in tourist destinations for domestic tourists.
Based on the Bureau of Immigration data, the overall tourist arrivals in February dropped 41.4 percent from the 713,394 visitors last year. (PNA)