DOT-10 ensures tourist destinations adhere to safety protocols
The Department of Tourism (DOT)-10 ensures tourism destinations in northern Mindanao adhere to the safety protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID 19 (IATF).
Abigail Viguella, information officer of DOT-10, during Talakayan sa PIA, December 14 at SM City Cagayan de Oro shared that as the economy opens, the department is also continuously monitoring tourism establishments in implementation of minimum public health standards.
Aside from accreditation, DOT has released 48 safety seals to tourist establishments. “Our accreditation and standards division is very strict on destinations who follow safety protocols,” she said.
DOT-10 is focused to develop dive tourism in the region. Viguella shared that as of now, just like farm tourism which is so popular, dive tourism also allows social distancing. DOT is also developing mountain tourism, with the latest on bird watching in the region.
Aside from promotions and perks, one of the advantages of being DOT accredited is that tourism establishments are entitled for manpower training such as Filipino brand of service excellence specifically on how to treat guests properly during their stay.
“The tourism sector was really badly hit by the pandemic because of the restrictions that were necessary to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Tourist arrivals were low and some tourist establishments had to close. It was really a hard time for the tourism industry,” said Viguella.
One of the lessons learned during the pandemic is really to utilize the internet and social media for promotions.
“We saw that our social media and the web is one of the biggest tools to utilize to sustain tourism interest,” she said.
As to adhering to guidelines in tourism sites and heritage sites, DOT is one with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the strict compliance to the requirements of Mountain Tourism, said Viguella.
“We always welcome tourists but it is also important that our tourists comply with the health and safety protocols and the restrictions or requirements of the local government unit (LGU) and the people who are responsible for a particular area especially in Mt. Kitanglad which is an ASEAN heritage site,” she said. (JMOR/PIA-10)
Abigail Viguella, information officer of Department of Tourism-10, shares during Talakayan sa PIA, media forum, efforts to sustain enthusiasm of the tourism industry despite COVID-19 pandemic and its travel restrictions. (ZRD/PIA-10)