Rey Felix Rafols, Palawan Tourism Council (PTC) head, said that the campaign encourages locals to visit Palawan tourist sites that they have not yet visited.
The Provincial Tourism Development and Promotions Office (PTDPO), the PTC, and the Palawan Chamber of Commerce facilitated the media launch Monday (September 14) at the VJR Hall, Palawan Provincial Capitol. Other stakeholders attended the launch via Zoom.
The event also served as the turn-over ceremony of the New Normal Handbook, which contains safety guidelines for tourism establishments.
Rafols explained that the main goal of the Palawan Muna campaign is to promote Palawan tourist destinations to Palawan locals, since the ongoing COVID-19 crisis still entails restriction on travel outside the province and the country.
“The main purpose of this campaign is to bring Palawan closer to Palaweños. The province is a world-class tourist destination, but only a few of us have been able to visit our famous tourist spots” he said. “It is an opportunity to open our rich culture and heritage to us Palaweños. It is time for us to rediscover our province.”
Rafols clarified that re-opening each Palawan town’s tourism industry still depends on respective quarantine guidelines. He cited Coron, the town with the highest number of current active cases and high instances of local and community transmission, as a town that has yet to reopen its tourism industry.
“Yes, right now. Hindi nga muna puwedeng pumunta sa Coron. But what we are doing is encouraging other municipalities to re-open their respective industries,” he said. “The message is, if we can open, we should try to open, para hindi mamatay ang economy natin.”
Among the highlights of the “Palawan Muna” campaign is the Bayani Basket, the PTC’s proposed marketing plan to highlight each town’s top local produce. The PTC previously released plans for the Bayani Basket in mid-June to the provincial board.
He also assured that re-opening tourism in Palawan still entails that both tourists and establishments should follow existing health protocols.
“We are one with government in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, and ensuring that our guests, our families, will have a pleasant and worry-free stay in our mutual island,” he said.