This latest development sparks hope for the future and revival of Philippine tourism amid challenging times.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) awarded the Department of Tourism (DOT) a SafeTravels Stamp in recognition of its “health and hygiene global standardized protocols” that will ensure safe travels during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the DOT shall continue to uphold sustainability and safety in its programs and projects geared toward the tourism industry’s recovery.
“The Department has also intensified the accreditation of establishments, continuing thorough inspection and assessment, to ensure that only those accredited with the Department of Tourism, and issued with a Certificate of Authority to Operate, are allowed to open and receive guests,” Puyat said during the recent WTTC Members Task Force Call.
“These efforts made us confident to pursue our application to use WTTC’s Safe Stamp, compelling us to align with WTTC’s health, safety and hygiene global standardized protocols. This will further restore tourist confidence and serve as an assurance to our guests that it is safe to travel in the Philippines. The way forward to our recovery is marked by strengthened partnerships with the private sector, our stakeholders and with other national government agencies,” she added.
The WTTC is an international organization representing leaders of the global travel and tourism industry, which accounts for 10 percent of the global gross domestic product and employment.
As a holder of the stamp, the DOT will have the opportunity to assume the role of a SafeTravels ambassador to stakeholders, advocating the implementation of and full compliance with protocols.
Eligible companies such as hotels, airlines, restaurants, tour operators, attractions, transportation and airports will use the stamp as a guarantee that they conform to health and safety protocols required by the WTTC.
“The DOT is one with the global tourism industry in prioritizing health and safety of travelers. In support of this shared advocacy, we will constantly improve our protocols, to make sure that our stakeholders, communities, and workers in the Philippines that rely on tourism can resume their livelihood safely once travel restrictions are eased,” Puyat said.
The DOT earlier released “new normal” health and safety protocols for hotels, resorts, other accommodation establishments, restaurants, tourist land transport services, beach and island destinations and meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE) facilities and organizers.
Puyat added that travelers also have a shared responsibility in helping keep tourism in the Philippines safe.
“The concept of responsible traveling should no longer be limited to keeping our destinations and attractions clean and preserved. In the new normal, travelers will have a bigger role to play. The success of health and safety measures will rely also on their cooperation,” she stated.