Forbes: PH one of rising star destinations post-Covid

FILE PHOTO: A view of the town of El Nido, one of the famous tourists destinations in the world, on September 16, 2019 in El Nido, Philippines. (Photo by Jes Aznar/Getty Images)

INTERNATIONAL magazine Forbes has named the Philippines as one of the seven countries with a high potential of being a “major tourist destination in a post-Covid world.”

According to the article written by Jared Ranahan, a travel contributor for Forbes, the Philippines boasts of “7,500 islands to choose from.”

“This massive archipelago has something to offer for even the most finicky of tourists,” the article read.

The article described the country as one of the “highly-underrated nations” where tourists are promised cultural experiences and pristine landscapes.

“The northernmost island, Luzon, is home to Metro Manila, a truly massive metropolis consisting of 16 cities - the national capital of Manila and the country’s most populous settlement, Quezon City, are two popular destinations for a deep immersion into mainstream Filipino culture,” it said.

“Those planning to lounge on the sandy shores should head to Visayas, the country’s central archipelago, where island destinations like Palawan and Boracay offer some of the nation’s finest white sand beaches, as well as countless opportunities to spot some of the endemic plant and animal species of the Philippines,” the article added.

Joining the Philippines in the “rising star list” published on May 31, are Ethiopia, Iran, Myanmar (Burma), Georgia, Slovenia and Tunisia. Ranahan said “while these countries have yet to become world-class destinations, the ingredients are all there—pristine natural beauty, historic ruins and fascinating cultural experiences can be encountered in abundance across all seven of these highly underrated nations.”

Domestic tourism

As the global tourism is slowly opening up with eased restrictions, tourism stakeholders in Cebu are encouraged to come up with new packages to restore tourist confidence, particularly in the area of safety and sanitation.

Alice Queblatin, president of the Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialists, in a webinar said, stakeholders must regularly communicate to its market the measures and programs they have put in place to encourage people to travel again. She anticipates domestic tourism will start to recover before international tourism.

As to how fast the recovery for the foreign market will be, Queblatin said it will heavily depend on how relaxed the entry requirements will be and the availability of flights.

Brian Connelly, general manager of Marco Polo Plaza, said hotels and resorts in Cebu remain optimistic that domestic tourism will slowly trickle and revive the battered industry.

“We’ll start to see green sprouts when our hotels and restaurants start to re-open,” he told SunStar Cebu.

Mactan Island, home to numerous hotels and resorts, is also excited to resume operations, Connelly said.

“Without a doubt, we are keen to offer within the Cebu market. We worked with Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to entice municipality employees and Cebuanos to come, get out of the house and enjoy life,” he said.

As a member of the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu, Connelly said they are working on affordable and attractive deals to entice the market once they are allowed to accept leisure and business travelers.

“Expect some very good rates, take advantage of it and explore the island and see how beautiful Cebu is,” he said.

He stressed that hotels have adhered to the new normal makeup, like the regular sanitation and disinfection to control the spread of the Covid-19. (JOB with KOC)