DOT OIC Gladys Quesea (lowest box right) says government-assisted MSMEs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by LP)

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is hosting events to assist accredited travel and tour operators in marketing their attractions as the government slowly reopens the industry.

DOT MIMAROPA Officer-In-Charge Gladys Quesea stated during the recent virtual Dagyaw town hall meeting that they recently held the Travel Tour Expo in Megamall and the Philippine Travel Mart at the SMX.

The department places a premium on-farm–agritourism, nature-based tourism, sun and beach, health and wellness, diving and marine tourism, and cultural tourism.

Quesea said that they are evaluating the region’s travel and tour businesses to see if they are ready to be included in tour circuits.

This year, the Department of Tourism (DOT) established travel bubbles and corridors in locations where COVID-19 cases were dramatically reduced or otherwise became manageable.

DOT MIMAROPA also provided online training in preparation for the industry’s recovery and gave financial help to pandemic-affected enterprises and workers during the outbreak.

About 1,380 workers, including tour guides in local government units (LGU) and private companies, participated in 31 trainings on digital technology and social media as well as customer services for the elderly, persons with disabilities, and visitors wanting to experience tourism on green, culture and adventure themes.

For the pandemic affected Micro Small and Medium Entreprises (MSMEs), OIC Quesea said they worked with the SB Corporation to provide loan packages depending on the size of the company with a longer repayment scheme.

Four hundred and sixty-two loan applications amounting to P203,442,837 have been approved.

Out of that number, 380 approved loans have been released amounting to P163,099,269. (LP)