Tourism pushes gradual business reopening amidst the pandemic

The rise of the tourism industry will lead to a growing economy. Tourism businesses need to reopen gradually, although the whole world is still affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is now they are working to make it happen. Other than that, a call to celebrate the Tourism Week is essential to inform travelers about beautiful destinations from different locations.

City of Koronadal Investment and Promotion Center (CKPIC) Manager Elric Batilaran explained that despite the coronavirus threat, the city government is joining the tourism week exposition in response and support to the World Tourism Organization (WTO) as they defined tourism as one of the biggest economic enterprises in the whole world.

Also, he said, this will be an avenue to inform people of the new products and destinations in the city wherein some initiatives were formed during the lockdown period like the Bong Gumne de Muhon and Damweng which are both located in Barangay Assumption. It is also a time to remind everyone that despite the pandemic, there are still old, but relaxing and entertaining spots awaiting their visits. He said further that apart from being surrounded by beautiful sceneries, Koronadal is also strategically situated in the heart of the Region XII.

Since tourism is one of the most affected activity due to restricted movement and travel ban, Batilaran said, that the government can no longer afford to sacrifice the economy while the fight against COVID-19 continues.

Due to the fact that no one is prepared for the current situation, Batilaran acknowledged that the tourism sector faced many obstacles in the context of a new normal life or called as better normal for the creative industry.

Thus, the City of Koronadal is experiencing the same dilemma, particularly in inviting travelers, since every tourist is very reluctant nowadays to stroll or take a vacation because they still feel fears of the virus contamination and possible financial crisis as well.

Despite the challenges, the CKIPC continues to persevere in taking initiatives to help the tourism industry in the city. Some of the actions include educating tourist stakeholders regarding minimum health standards and guidelines. There was also a virtual meeting with the hotel operators, during which they were instructed to install the necessary health facilities to cope with COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of all visitors to the premises.

Batilaran also continued to connect with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region XII for essential information and back-ups. He said, his office is very grateful for the relentless support of the two (2) agencies when it comes to assistance for business establishments.

Moreover, Batilaran believed that the special citation received by the city government as the most friendly business city in the whole Philippines is a big help to boost the city’s tourism. Here in Mindanao only two (2) Local Government Units (LGUs) received such award, wherein aside from the city, Cagayan de Oro City (CDO) also received the same recognition.

Further, as the city government of Koronadal is celebrating tourism week with the theme “Making possible the spirit of tourism, resilience, and hope”, the CKPIC prepared various activities that everyone can participate in. Since this activity does not require face-to-face interaction, the participants will be tested now on how to use new technologies with creativity.

The week long festivity was started on October 25 and will end on October 31 after it was launched on October 8.

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