DOT launches online survey to help define ânew normalâ in travel
This undated image shows travelers walking in an airport.
DOT launches online survey to help define ‘new normal’ in travel
Rosette Adel ( - May 16, 2020 - 12:05pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism on Friday launched an online survey to help determine the "new normal" of travel and tourism industry.

“As we plan the future of tourism in our country, we need to listen to your sentiments and concerns. Sparing at least 10 minutes to answer this survey is a huge support to our endeavor,” the DOT said.

“The results of this survey will give valuable insights for tourism enterprises on how to better prepare, respond, and serve you again once the COVID-19 pandemic ends and travel restrictions are lifted,” it added.

It said the survey was crafted by the Guide to the Philippines and Asian Institute of Management’s Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism.

The DOT would publish the summary and analysis of this survey, which would be available to all tourism enterprises.

The tourism agency’s survey came days after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of. Emerging Infectious Disease issued the guidelines for the modified enhanced community quarantine and the general community quarantine wherein under its Category IV, the public is still prohibited from visiting tourist destinations such as water parks, beaches and resorts.

Category IV of the task force's ECQ, MECQ and GCQ guidelines also said that travel agencies, tour operators, reservation service and related activities are still not allowed under all the community quarantine protocols in place.

Libraries, archives, museums centers as well as entertainment industries like theaters, karaoke bar and kid amusement industries such as playrooms and rides also remain prohibited under these measures.

Preparations for 'new normal'

On Wednesday, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the tourism industry is ready to face the reality and daunting challenges of the “new normal” or the new standards that will be set as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the online edition of Go Negosyo themed “We Go As One For Tourism,” hosted by Presidential Adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion last Tuesday,  the tourism chief said the agency has “wide-range preparations for the anticipated reopening of the economic activities.”

“There is no going back to the way things were and we have to accept the tourism landscape that will emerge after the COVID-19 pandemic. Unless a vaccine is developed, the threat of another outbreak is always a possibility so safety will be the paramount concern of most of our visitors,” Puyat said.

In view of this, she said safety measures such as re-training of tourism practitioners, reducing the capacity of air and land transport units, distribution of hygiene kits to tour participants, mandatory temperature checks at airports, hotels and other attractions, and ensuring food safety, among others, would be implemented.

The DOT also proposed the following safety measures:

  • Regular sanitation/ disinfection of tourism accommodation and transport services;
  • Provision of sanitation/ disinfecting devices, including PPEs for tourism workers;
  • Regular inspection of tourism establishments by agencies in relation to health and safety standards;
  • Development of online systems that can facilitate tourism-related transactions such as applications for accreditation, training modules, and even retail.

Meanwhile, Puyat also said that among the the government’s inclusive approach to finding solutions to the challenges identified as the most pressing, include the need for soft loans for working capital; payment of loans; deferment of tax payments; wage subsidies; and health and safety of tourism workers.

She added that the DOT, national government agencies and stakeholders through the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP), are crafting the Tourism Response and Recovery Plan (TRRP), which will serve as the masterplan to get the industry back on its feet.

The tourism chief said the “TRRP is designed to revitalize the country’s tourism industry, including programs, projects, and activities under six thematic outcomes with emphasis on sustaining businesses, training or capacitating the workforce, and protecting vulnerable groups.”

Puyat also called for the public’s support for the tourism industry as it tries to adapt to the stringent measures to survive, bounce back and remain resilient under the new normal.

“With your support, open-mindedness, and cooperation, the tourism industry can once again prosper while setting the bar with new standards for hospitality, sustainability, health and safety, and guest satisfaction,” the tourism chief said.

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