With easing travel restrictions set to take place next month, many tourists and locals are planning their trips to these hotspots.

With plans to ease travel restrictions next month, it looks like revenge travel is now in. Defined as traveling to make up for lost time, especially after the two-year hiatus when the pandemic first hit, revenge travel has and will continue to cause an influx of tourists in the country.

According to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat—in a statement made last Thursday—many travel operators are planning flights to the Philippines—with a lot of them eyeing Bohol and Boracay. “Some of the ones that we’ve talked to, marami na silang charter flights that are going to come. I think meron na silang chartered flights to go to Bohol, and some are already planning to go to Boracay,” Puyat said.

Yung mga top travel tour operators here, so marami na silang planned charter flights to come to the Philippines this year,” she added.

An Influx of Tourists in the Philippines

Since the government allowed entry to fully-vaccinated tourists from 157 visa-free countries in February, about 100,000 tourists have arrived in the Philippines. “From February 10 to March 15, we’ve already received 96,096 tourists. So close to 100,000 na tayo,” she said. “We’re pleasantly surprised. At least tuloy-tuloy na, and this is only from visa-free countries.”

Puyat goes on to add that the country can anticipate more tourist arrivals once restrictions are further eased on April 1. In fact, the Inter-Agency Task Force Against COVID-19 (IATF) themselves gave the go signal. “Starting April 1, pumayag na ang [IATF] na all countries na ang papayagan dito. So nung February 10, bumukas, nagbukas tayo for visa-free countries, starting April 1, for all countries.”

She does, however, stress that protocols still have to be in place. “Of course, pareho pa rin—fully vaccinated, 48 hours ang negative RT-PCR before departure, at dinagdag natin yung 24 hours lab-based antigen before departure.”

A Reminder to Hotels and Resorts

With easing travel restrictions soon in place, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reminded hotels in areas under Alert Levels 1, 2, and 3 that they can accept leisure and business guests at full room occupancy. This came about amid reports from hotels insisting that guests cannot share rooms if they are from different households—based on DOT guidelines.

“Administrative Order Number 2022-001 or the Guidelines on the Operations of Hotels and Other Accommodation Establishments under the Alert Level Systems for Covid-19…states that regular hotels in areas under alert levels 1, 2, and 3 may accommodate leisure and business guests,” the DOT said in a statement.

“The hotels are also allowed full room occupancy, regardless of whether the leisure guests are from the same household or not—subject to minimum public health standards,” they added.

Additionally, hotel services like daily housekeeping, room service, and food delivery are accepted—but with health and safety protocols still in place. However, any violations committed by hotels will still be subject to penalties and fines, depending on the gravity of the offense.

Photos from Unsplash

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