In its efforts to help boost tourism and economic recovery in Bohol, AirAsia participated in a meeting spearheaded by Bohol Governor Arthur C. Yap, to discuss “Prospects for Bohol Tourism in the Context of Current Realities in the War Against COVID”.
The virtual meeting took place on Monday, 24 May 2021, and was attended by guest speakers Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Vaccine Czar of the Philippines Secretary Carlito Galvez represented by Major General Mel Feliciano, Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Secretary Joey Concepcion, Governor Arthur C. Yap, airline executives and business leaders from the Hotels and Resorts association.
The local government of Bohol shared its extensive plans on recovery and best practices in the implementation of bubble tourism which could also be a benchmark for other leisure destinations in the country.
Bohol Governor Arthur Yap said, “Fifteen months into the pandemic, COVID remains to be the defining local and global issue that has dominated our lives daily. For Bohol, the impact has been devastating with at least 200,000 Boholanos gravely and directly impacted by the tourism meltdown but balancing economic as well as health priorities has always been at the top of Bohol’s concerns.
“We are prepared for the day that we will reopen our doors to local and foreign visitors alike through creating a contact tracing card, by legislating an Ultimate Bohol Experience Seal to benchmark establishments with the standards of the new normal, and reaching out to assist tourism sub-sectors to work with them and prepare them for the reopening of Bohol to tourism soonest.”
Meanwhile, the Tourism Department is taking the lead on the call to inoculate tourism frontliners as well as to adopt uniform protocols under a digital platform to ensure seamless travel among tourists.
Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said, “The success of the vaccination campaign will be a big step towards the recovery of the tourism industry. There is no other way to ensure the tourism sector’s survival and recovery but to vaccinate every tourism frontliner.
“The standardization of travel protocols can be achieved faster if we all work together towards the implementation of new tourism practices. We have learned that digitalizing vast aspects of tourism operations is no longer optional but a necessity. Without a doubt, digital technology will be increasingly important to our recovery and to attaining the better normal that we seek,” she added.
AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla shared insights on the current tourism landscape, as well as the airline’s proactive efforts and strategies in rebuilding tourism in Bohol.
Since Bohol’s reopening last December, AirAsia has flown a number of media personalities and celebrity influencers including Ms. Universe 2018 Catriona Gray along with over 36,000 passengers to stimulate demand for the reboot of local tourism, and it continues to fly essential travelers such as Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) and Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR), every week.
AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said, “COVID-19 has disrupted the industry, our operations, and even our daily routines. From a public health crisis, it has also introduced itself as an economic downturn. This however has pushed us in AirAsia to reimagine the future of travel and what we’ve come to realize is that much innovation and collaboration is needed. We are grateful for the government’s support through incentives extended to airlines as well as the prioritization of tourism frontliners in the vaccination program.
“Our enhanced digital platforms as well as our established partnerships with key stakeholders in Bohol are equally important in providing support to uplift those in the travel, tourism, and logistics industries and to bring in new opportunities for them.”
”Even amidst the pandemic, Bohol remains as one of the top preferred destinations in the Philippines, with potential to draw in the biggest market segments,” Isla added.
To further stimulate economic activity in the tourism and services sector, Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Secretary Joey Concepcion is proposing greater mobility among those who have been fully vaccinated.
Apart from opening green lanes, he said the only way to rebuild confidence among tourists is to have a clear strategy on vaccination.
Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Secretary Joey Concepcion said, “The vaccine is the only solution in saving both lives and livelihoods.”
AirAsia flies 5 times weekly to Panglao Airport in the Province of Bohol. Book your tickets via airasia super app or through airasia.com