SEEING the tourism sector slowly going back to its glory days, Presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said this is a chance for Filipinos, especially working in the sector, to recover after being greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marcos said almost all the sectors have suffered from the crisis brought about by the pandemic that’s why now that some tourist sites are slowly accepting fully vaccinated tourists, it means that the country is also moving its way to recovery.
“This is good news for us and for our economy. I strongly believe in tourism as an instrument for economic growth and now that Ilocos Norte, Puerto Galera, Bohol, and other famous tourist spots are being lenient in their travel requirements, soon we will be able to see the boost in the local economy that later on will be a tool for the recovery of our entire nation,” he said.
Ilocos Norte, Marcos’s hometown, is already receiving leisure travelers from different parts of the country. One of his achievements as governor of Ilocos Norte was making the province a major tourist destination not only for locals but also for international tourists.
The Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) standard-bearer said that aside from industry workers finally returning to work, more jobs will also be created from this development. Marcos has earlier said that jobs are what the public need right now as millions of Filipinos remain jobless.
Data from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) showed that only 893,886 travelers arrived in the country from January to September. These figures are lower than the 3.2 million arrivals during the same period in 2020. The arrivals averaged from 90,000 to 100,000 per month since January due to the daily cap on passenger arrivals as well as travel restrictions.
Marcos said now that there are lesser restrictions on tourist spots, an increase in the number of tourists is expected as the government also increased the number of daily caps on passenger arrival from 1,500 to 2,000.
He said increased public spending and strategic investments in tourism development and promotion will result in long-term benefits, especially in terms of job generation and increased income for local governments.
With all these positive developments, Marcos is encouraging the public to continue to be informed and get vaccinated against the COVID-19.
He also reminded LGUs to remain vigilant in making sure that public health protocols remain observed in their areas.
“Local government officials must make sure that all tourists entering their area of responsibility follow local health protocols to prevent the possibility of a lockdown that will ruin the gains that they have already achieved,” Marcos said.