MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will travel to the country’s top tourist destinations beginning next week to promote local tourism and to show that the Philippines is a safe place for travel.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the idea came after the President met with key leaders of Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, Philippine Airlines, Philippine Hotel Owners Association and members of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines.
"Bale kinukuwento lang namin sa kanya na dahil first time na ang hotel and airlines na magbababa kami ng presyo para lang mag-travel all over the country," Puyat said.
Duterte expressed his desire to travel locally and wants to visit Boracay, Cebu and Bohol first.
"Nagpahayag ng kagustuhan ang pangulo na umikot sa mga top destination sa bansa to show that it is safe around the country. Sabi niya, sama ko, ako na next week, sasama ako. Gustong-gusto daw niya Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, kahit saan daw sasama siya,” Puyat shared.
She said Duterte is planning to go and visit a local destination every weekend and produce a video encouraging people to travel.
"Gusto niya every weekend magta-travel siya all over the country. Meron siyang ilalabas na video encouraging the people to travel," Puyat said.
According to Puyat, the Department of Tourism is expecting some P14.8 billion foregone revenue this February because of the start of the travel ban.
"Ang expected namin na mawawala na revenue for Feb. 2020, for the month of February. We have the per month based on the tourist arrivals from 2017 to 2019," Puyat said.
Puyat encouraged the public to travel more within the Philippines. She said the tourism sector agreed to roll out more value-added tour packages, discounted accommodation rates and marked down domestic flights in the coming days.
Puyat said DOT released guidelines and protocols in handling guests in tourism establishments.
“Palalakasin pa lalo ng DOT ang promotion domestically and internationally in key markets tulad ng South Korea, US, Japan at emerging markets that cover Western Europe, the Middle East, Russia and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) and neighboring Asian countries,” Puyat said.