Aerial view of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila, the Philippines.

Filipino tourism players are ready to welcome more foreign tourists as the Philippines officially reopened its gates to all fully vaccinated leisure travelers on April 1, the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP) said Friday.

TCP president Jojo Clemente said tourism establishments continue to strictly implement health and safety protocols to ensure that guests would be safe even as restrictions continue to relax in the country.

He added that hotels have also been “Covid-proofing” their facilities through regular disinfection and by opting for contactless transactions.

“Handang-handa na kami, dalawang taon naming pinag-planuhan at pinaghandaan ang ating pagbubukas ulit sa lahat ng mga turista na gustong bumalik sa Pilipinas at pumunta rito (We’re more than ready, we’ve been preparing for the arrival of our tourists from abroad for two years),” he said in a television interview.

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Clemente is hoping this development would bring back more jobs and set the stage for the tourism industry’s recovery.

“Kami naman ang gusto lang namin ngayon ay mapabalik sila dito at mahikayat na pumunta sa Pilipinas… Ngayon ang iniisip namin ay makarating sila at huwag malugi ang mga negosyo (We just wanted to invite them to go back and visit the Philippines… Our main focus now is to welcome them),” he said.

Fully vaccinated tourists from all countries may now visit the Philippines and are no longer required to present an entry exemption document (EED), provided they comply with applicable visa and immigration laws, rules, and regulations.

The EED had been a requirement for foreigners from countries not included in the Philippines’ 157 visa-free states.

All inbound tourists, however, must submit a negative pre-departure RT-PCR or antigen testing result prior to their entry. (PNA)

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