Increase in creative travel packages as more destinations reopen

HARDER. The competition will be tougher in the coming months as more and more destinations around the world compete for a good share of returning foreign travellers. /SUNSTAR FILE

WITH the reopening of the country’s borders, tourism players will have to come up with unique and exciting travel packages and itineraries to offer foreign tourists.

Alfred Reyes, president of the Cebu Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants Association (HRRAC), said tourism players will face stiffer competition as global borders begin to reopen.

“Industry players will not only be competing with each other. We will be competing with our neighboring countries,” Reyes said, noting that hotel rates, for example, will be more competitive.

“The prices will be competitive because you are not only competing with the Cebu market or Cebu hotels. You are also competing with other destinations, so there are creative packages at lower prices,” said Kings.

Australia, Bali (Indonesia), Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, among others, have already relaxed their travel requirements for foreign guests. They are now accepting vaccinated travellers, ending nearly two years of locked border policies.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has seen an increase in tourist arrivals in the first 10 days since the February 10 reopening.

One Health Pass data showed a total of 21,974 inbound tourist arrivals at different airports across the country.

These are made up of 10,074 Balikbayans and 11,900 foreign tourists who arrived from February 10 to 19.

“The recent influx of tourists reflects the enthusiasm of foreign tourists to visit our country, which will accelerate the revival of our tourism industry,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat.

“At DOT, we remain optimistic that this trend will continue and support not only the tourism industry, but also the recovery and growth of our economy,” she added.

Tourists from the United States made up the largest portion of overseas tourists during the 10-day period with 5,516 arrivals.

This is followed by 1,366 arrivals from Canada, 918 from the United Kingdom, 891 from Australia, 859 from South Korea, 572 from Vietnam, 459 from Japan and 447 from Germany.

Puyat also revealed that Covid-19 vaccination certificates from Egypt, Maldives, Palau, Albania, Estonia, Greece, Malta and Uruguay will also be accepted as proof of Vaccinations required upon entry to the Philippines.

The eight countries add to the 12 countries previously approved based on Resolution 162 of the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.