FOR AIRLINES: Boracay opening a positive signal

    1517

    Local airlines are gearing up for the resumption of regular commercial flights to Boracay in what could signal the reopening of more domestic tourism destinations.

    The carriers will start flying to Caticlan’s Godofredo P, Ramos Airport tomorrow, October 1, making Boracay Island the first tourist destination to welcome commercial flights carrying non-essential travellers.

    Philippine Airlines (PAL) has scheduled flights to Caticlan , on October 1, 4, 9 and 11 and will have regular twice weekly Manila-Caticlan-Manila schedule operating every Friday and Sunday from October 16 onwards.

    Cebu Pacific Air said it intends to fly to and from Boracay, thrice weekly (every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday).

    AirAsia Philippines is offering promo fare from as low as P8 and flights and hotel combo deals up to 30 percent off to lure more local tourist to travel the Island.

    The government is giving tourists the green light to travel to Boracay from areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

    This decision is formalized in Resolution No 74 of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, which has relaxed age restrictions for travel to Boracay while continuing to strictly enforce entry restrictions for persons with comorbidities.

    All leisure tourists bound for Caticlan are required to present the following documents: medical certificate issued by any government physician; travel authority pass issued by the Philippine National Police (PNP); and health declaration card and negative RT-PCR test results taken within 72 hours prior to their departure date.

    “We welcome this recent development as we believe this marks the beginning of opening more domestic destinations for tourism. We thank the DOT (Department of Tourism) and its attached agencies for making this possible, and we look forward to adding more flights once demand picks up,” said Candice Iyog, CEB vice president for marketing & customer experience.

    More flights soon, PAL staff members do a thorough cleaning at the NAIA Terminal 2 in this Aug. 12, 2020 photo. Airlines follow strict protocols to ensure a healthy, safe and clean environment for their passengers. (PAL photo)

    Ricky Isla, AirAsia Philippines CEO said, the reopening of Boracay is a great step forward in jumpstarting the travel and tourism industry of the Philippines. Right now, our goal is to stimulate activity inside local economies by supporting businesses and enterprises heavily affected by the pandemic.”

    The carrier has partnered with local hotels to provide amazing combo deals on SNAP, its flight plus hotel combo booking platform, which provides guests more savings
    PAL’s modern Dash 8 Q400 aircraft will be deployed for the revived Boracay flights.
    Meanwhile,

    the DOT has issued strict guidelines for “staycations” as part of the government efforts to re-start the economy through tourism.

    DOT Secretary Bernadette-Puyat Romulo on Monday signed the administrative order which allows “staycations” for persons of all ages, except those with underlying medical conditions, within areas under GCQ.

    Each staycation guest shall be required to present a negative result from a rapid antigen test conducted on the same day of check-in.

    The order provides that all accommodation establishments in areas declared to be under GCQ must secure a DOT Certificate of Authority to Operate for Staycations prior to accommodating any guests for staycation.

    These establishments must follow guidelines on guest handling, including the maximum number of guests per room, as well as health and safety standards for ancillary establishments. They may also resume operations of ancillary facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, restaurants and other food and beverage outlets, except for bars which remain prohibited in GCQ areas.

    The DOT yesterday launched its online accreditation system to facilitate accreditation requests, contactless transactions, and hazard-free government services for tourist enterprises. Target users are accommodation establishments, travel and tour agencies, tourist transport operators, tourism frontliners, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions facilities and organizers, health and wellness services, and other tourism-related enterprises like restaurants.

    Puyat said the system, accessible through https://accreditation.tourism.gov.ph, is an upgraded version that provides for the creation of business accounts, email verification, real-time application status notification and an upcoming online payment system.

    Once accredited, tourism enterprises are certified as having complied with the minimum standards for the operation of tourism facilities and services.