El Nido expands travel bubble starting Oct. 30: DOT
By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – El Nido is easing its travel restrictions to welcome more tourists starting October 30, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced Saturday.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the provincial government of Palawan agreed to move on to the “second phase of El Nido’s travel bubble” during an October 23 meeting with stakeholders.
The expanded travel bubble would allow tourists to enter the island, provided they undergo and submit a negative RT-PCR test result at least 72 hours before their trip.
No specific information has been released yet by the DOT as local authorities iron out details for the travel bubble’s expansion.
The El Nido Resorts was previously the only tourism establishment in Palawan to obtain a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) and to reopen its doors to tourists outside the province via the travel bubble strategy.
Under the set-up, guests from Manila that have obtained a negative RT-PCR test result 72 hours before the date of travel were allowed to board the eight flights to Lio Airport via Airswift and stay at one of the resort chain’s island locations.
“There are nine establishments for now that have obtained a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) and 27 establishments with Provisional Certificate of Authority to Operate (PCAO) from the DOT and which may start accommodating guests,” Romulo-Puyat said.
Following successful runs of the travel bubble strategy between Manila and El Nido, the DOT is now taking further steps to increase visitor confidence and awareness about Palawan’s preparedness in terms of medical services and facilities, as well as emergency response protocols.
“The tourism industry’s reopening is gradually building momentum, especially after the news about the re-opening of Boracay and the Ridge and Reef travel bubble between Baguio and the provinces of Region 1. Considering that Palawan’s El Nido has been consistently voted as the world’s best island, I would also like El Nido to be seen as part of the industry’s rebirth,” she said. (PNA)