Boutique resort in El Nido to welcome guests via âexpanded travel bubbleâ
This undated photo shows a swimming pool in a boutique resort in El Nido, Palawan.
Casa Kalaw/Released

Boutique resort in El Nido to welcome guests via ‘expanded travel bubble’

Rosette Adel ( - November 10, 2020 - 5:03pm

MANILA, Philippines — El Nido town government in Palawan recently eased travel restrictions and allowed more tourists to enter the island in a bid to jumpstart domestic tourism.

The island started welcoming tourists from Manila last October 30.

This includes the reopening of one of its top attractions, Lio Beach.

Following this development, Casa Kalaw, one of the first boutique resorts in Lio also announced that it would resume operations. It will start welcoming guests from Manila this November 20 to 23 in an expanded travel bubble with AirSwift’s chartered flights from Manila.

The boutique resort said guests who will book a four-day and three-night stay with round trip flights from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 3 will receive special deals.

They will likewise enjoy full-packed nature holiday with complimentary offerings of non-motorized water sports activities like kayaking, paddle boarding and Lio Beach-based guided tours.

“This limited book-and-buy promo is available until November 16, 2020 only,” the resort said.

Guests who are planning to visit the island are still required to undergo the Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) or the RT-PCR swab confirmatory test and get their negative test results three days or at least 72 hours before their flight. They will also be required to accomplish travel and health declaration forms upon reservation as part of the measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

'Slowly but surely reopening'

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat earlier welcomed the move of the provincial and local government officials and tourism stakeholders of Palawan to expand the province’s travel bubble which is aligned to its slow but sure tourism reopening.

Before this, the tourism chief personally visited the province in July to conduct inspections among tourism establishments to ensure their compliance to the Department of Tourism’s health and safety guidelines.

On September 30, El Nido only opened its doors to Palawan-based tourists, citing that there is no local transmission of the virus municipalities.

“El Nido is a safe place with very low-risk of COVID-19 infection,” El Nido tourism then said.

The expansion of travel bubble is seen to build the momentum of domestic tourism, which was greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Puyat earlier said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused El Nido P3.2 billion in visitor receipts. It also displaced a total of 5,997 tourism workers on the island.

“Considering that Palawan’s El Nido has been consistently voted as the world’s best island, I would also like El Nido to be seen as part of the industry's rebirth,” she said late October.

The first tourism establishment in Palawan to secure a Certificate of Authority to Operate was the El Nido Resorts, which also now reopened its doors to tourists from outside the province through the travel bubble strategy.

Since July, this resort chain has been accepting guests from Manila that have obtained a negative RT-PCR test result. They were allowed to board the eight flights to Lio Airport via AirSwift.

As of October 24, Puyat said a total of nine establishments have obtained a Certificate of Authority to Operate and 27 establishments with Provisional Certificate of Authority to Operate from the DOT. These certificates are required before the resumption of operations and begin accommodations.

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