Study shows health rules need simplifying

MANILA, 19 February 2021: Introducing standardised travel protocols for all regions of the Philippines would help to revive travel a study commissioned by the country’s Department of Tourism revealed.

The survey titled, “The Evolving Landscape of Domestic Travel in the Philippines,” compiled by the Asian Institute of Management’s Dr Andrew L Tan Centre for Tourism concluded the majority of respondents identified individual local government safety protocols as the leading cause for travel inconvenience.

The study called for the standardisation of protocols at least at the provincial level or “circuit-wide”.

“The presence of a unified system that outlines the set of standard protocols in various travel destinations will help ease travel arrangements,” the report recommended. “This is especially important in catering to spontaneous day trip travellers.”

Throughout the pandemic, travellers’ preference also evolved, with tourists now preferring outdoor activities, with staycation coming in next.

Change in travel behaviour was also recorded, indicating more opportunities for introducing new travel products and services.

The survey gathered responses, from 7,243 people, across all 78 provinces, of which 809 travelled during the pandemic. It also included responses from 108 tourism enterprises with the objective of getting their sentiments on the “new normal” of travel that would serve as inputs to the DOT’s strategies to jumpstart the tourism industry.

Key survey findings

– Stability of public health is perceived as the minimum requirement to accelerate the opening of local tourism;

– A standardised set of health protocols and requirements are needed to promote tourist activity;

– Financial survival (cash flow) remains the most pressing concern of tourism enterprises;

– Marketing and promotions of tourism products and services remains the key point of intervention, followed by financial assistance.

Tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, meanwhile, promised that the DOT would roll out product and market development initiatives to help travel agencies and tour operators enhance their travel packages and services. She also reiterated the call for uniformed travel protocols across tourism destinations.

“As always, we shall be taking a multilateral approach to address current issues relating to the pandemic, working more closely with local government units, stakeholders, and local communities,” she said.

“Guided by the new survey results, the DOT and its partners will be able to plot the crucial next steps for the recovery of the tourism industry, creating better, more efficient and effective strategies where there is mutual and inclusive growth for all,” she added.

(Source: PNA)