Home Headlines Get ready to travel!ATTAP kicks off tourism drive 2 years into pandemic

Get ready to travel!
ATTAP kicks off tourism drive 2 years into pandemic


TOURISM IS BACK. DOT undersecretary Roberto Alabado III shares their plans for the country’s tourism industry to ATTAP and guests. Photo by Joann Manabat


CLARK FREEPORT – Spearheading the efforts to jumpstart domestic tourism with great optimism, the Alliance of Travel and Tour Agencies of Pampanga (ATTAP) held its kickoff event at Clark Marriott Hotel on March 18.

The tourism industry, being one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, is also one of the major drivers of economic growth, discussed Department of Tourism undersecretary Roberto Alabado III during the kickoff event.

Alabado said the country’s main focus is “domestic tourism to support locals in both new and niche markets for existing products, as well as new niche products for new markets to help the micro, small, and medium enterprises recover, thrive, and sustain their businesses.”

He shared his optimism towards local tourism as the country has started accepting foreign visitors from visa-free countries since February.

“We have a very good international airport here. And the potential of this in making Pampanga as one of the key drivers of growth in the tourism sector is immense. So, tourism is alive. Kaya sinasabi ko from reset to restart. I am glad that we are finally restarting. Let us project that very soon it will be a takeoff,” enthused Alabado.

He also shared that the Philippines is aiming for ASEAN tourism standards as travel and tourism agencies should expect more specialized tour guides for the country’s endless pursuit for tourism quality excellence.

“We have been training this year. We are going to train specialists to help your agencies, your operations have more experts, and Filipino service excellence. The ASEAN standards on how to deliver service is what we are looking at. Dapat ang expectation ni Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines ay iisa ang quality standard,” he said.

Based on DOT’s records as of March 9, the number of arrivals to the country’s main airports have reached 76,736. Of this number, 43,249 are foreign tourists, while 33,487 are balikbayans.

In a statement released by the DOT on March 11, the country will open its doors to all foreign tourists starting April 1 following the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to lift the arrival quota for unvaccinated passengers in all ports of entry.

The IATF, under Resolution 164-A, made the submission of a negative laboratory-based antigen test result taken within 24 hours from departure as an alternate option for arriving passengers in place of the initial requirement of a negative result of an RT-PCR test taken 48 hours prior to departure from point of origin.

The resumption of visa issuances by Philippine embassies and consulates will also start on April 1 to coincide with total removal of arrival quotas.

Newly elected officers of ATTAP take oath. Photo by Joann Manabat

Newly elected ATTAP president Anna Pamela Guzman said Pampanga will have “revitalizing programs” through ATTAP’s various plans to bring back the confidence on travel and tourism industry.

“After two long years, we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Slowly the doors of tourism are opening. The new age of the travel industry has begun. Soon we will be ready for takeoff,” said Guzman.

As Clark continues to position itself as a MICE (meetings, incentives, conference, exhibition) destination, Guzman added that ATTAP will also be working closely with DOT to support and develop travel businesses to be MICE standards to align with the progress at this freeport.

The event was also graced by Department of Tourism regional director Carolina Uy and former DOT regional director Ronnie Tiotuico, as well as city tourism officers Ching Pangilinan, Arwin Lingat, and provincial tourism officer Khristian Mark Alvarez.

The event also included the induction of new ATTAP officers, its board of trustees, and new members. A pledge of allegiance was also held for its existing members for the continuous success of its programs.



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