The Provincial Tourism Promotions and Development Office (PTPDO) is eyeing the identification of “specific tour packages” to offer visitors once tourism operations fully reopen in Palawan to take care of their safety against the coronavirus disease.

PTPDO chief Maribel Buñi said they see this as one of the alternative strategies that the tourism sector can undertake to attract local and domestic visitors to the province while there is a pandemic or under new normal.

Buñi said that in a recent meeting, the province agreed with local government units (LGUs) to only open tourism sites “gradually” and to control what activities the visitors can do in specific destinations to evade contracting COVID-19.

She said LGUs are presently crafting tour packages and itineraries to offer to would-be travelers.

“Isang strategy po kasi to reopen the tourism is by specific tour packages na puwede nang puntahan ng mga turista or ng mga bisita. Sa ngayon, patuloy ‘yong pagde-design ng mga LGU ng packages at tour itinerary or areas na ready kung saan puwedeng dalhin ang mga turista,” Buñi said Thursday.

“As of now, we are not open yet for everybody or ‘yong destinations. For now, ang strategy ay to open little by little kung saan pinapayagan na pumunta ang mga turista,” she added.

Based on their records, around 7,000 establishments in the province stopped operations due to COVID-19, affecting the work of around 20,000 individuals.

Buñi said now that economic recovery has started, Palawan has to open its tourism operations but needs to secure everyone’s safety — both the locals and outside travelers.

In El Nido and Coron, will have to operate its activities for travelers under the “tourism bubble” (also called corona corridors), where they will be allowed to go to places where the disease has been restrained and managed.

Business establishments are allowed to operate provided they have secured their Certificate of Authority to Operate (CATO) from the Department of Tourism (DOT) and ensure they observe minimum health standards to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.



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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.