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Philippines will not open to intl tourism until 2nd half of 2021


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Salty Dog

Philippines will not open to intl tourism until 2nd half of 2021

Manila, Sep 7 (efe-epa). - The Philippines will not open its borders to international visitors until the second half of 2021 and plans to gradually reactivate domestic tourism in October, a spokesman for the Department of Tourism told EFE on Monday.

“When other countries lift border controls, the Department of Tourism expects international visitors from the region in the second half of 2021,” said spokeswoman Czarina Zara-Loyola.

Rather than fully opening up to foreign visitors, the Philippines plans to create travel bubbles with countries in the region, which have generally been successful in containing COVID-19.

The Philippines has imposed one of the longest and strictest quarantines in the world, which has particularly affected the tourism, transport and aviation sectors, as not only the country’s borders are closed, but movement between provinces is also restricted.

To offset the losses in a sector that in 2019 came to represent 11 percent of GDP, the Department of Tourism plans the gradual reopening of domestic tourism in the last quarter of the year, at a time when the pandemic is increasingly under control , with the exception of Manila.

“National tourism is the backbone of the industry. The Department of Tourism expects, with the support of local governments, its gradual activation from the last quarter of this year until the first six months of 2021,” said Zara-Loyola.

For now, the authorities contemplate activating tourist corridors by regions “in strict compliance with the safety and health protocols.”

Last week it was announced that Baguio, some 250 kilometers north of Manila, will be opened to visitors from the neighboring provinces, who will be able to enjoy the cool temperature and green landscapes of that inner-city in which many Filipinos have second homes.

The island of Boracay, the main tourist destination in the country, has also partially opened, but only to travelers from other neighboring islands of the Visayas region, something that El Nido, on the island of Palawan, also hopes to do, starting on Sep. 15.

Currently, these popular destinations will not be opened to the inhabitants of Manila and its surroundings, the main epicenter of COVID-19 with more than half of the country’s cases and where a quarter of the Philippine population is concentrated.

In 2019, the Philippines received a record 8.2 million foreign tourists, with South Korea, China and the United States as the main source countries, a figure that this year has fallen by 73 percent due to the border closure imposed in mid-March.

https://www.laprensalatina.com/philippines-will-not-open-to-intl-tourism-until-2nd-half-of-2021/amp/?fbclid=IwAR2mSpfKjhsWB4kOciddtQr4h0vIaH43gUZ9JkmLHMt3Su5kRKWYgrwozYU

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to_dave007

@Salty Dog  I saw this article too..  but so far I haven't seen anything from government to confirm this.  Given the economic consequences of such a decision, I would EXPECT to see official announcement.

Edited by to_dave007
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Salty Dog
9 minutes ago, to_dave007 said:

@Salty Dog  I saw this article too..  but so far I haven't seen anything from government to confirm this.  Given the economic consequences of such a decision, I would EXPECT to see official announcement.

I saw it more as a forecast than as cast in stone.

Even if at were cast in stone, remember it’s the Philippines we're talking about…:rolleyes:

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mikewright

Possibly a similar time frame in Australia. Our national carrier QANTAS announced back in June that it didn't expect to resume international flights in any significant way until July 2021 at the earliest.

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mikecon3

They announced this week here in Saudi that all restrictions on travel will be removed as of January 1, 2021. From now until then, only certain classifications of people will be allowed to travel internationally. Still trying to get clarification on what that means exactly! While it is not the best news for OFW's hoping to get back to work before Christmas, at least they can look forward to January.

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profits101

Hope this does not come to pass.... but in thinking about it, the filipino mindset is one where once the rules are in place, changing them is very difficult. And putting up with adverse conditions is second nature - they hardly notice. Are there no lobbyists here? I would think PAL, and the other carriers would be trying to get the ear of someone or other... they seem very passive and there is virtually no dissent. Domestic tourism? Folks are already broke, and events, clothes, food, and media (social and non-social) seem way more compelling to the average "domestic tourist." Is there really such a market? I think its just feel good happy talk to put a good face on what they hate to admit - foreigners bring and spend money liberally.

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37 minutes ago, profits101 said:

Hope this does not come to pass.... but in thinking about it, the filipino mindset is one where once the rules are in place, changing them is very difficult. And putting up with adverse conditions is second nature - they hardly notice. Are there no lobbyists here? I would think PAL, and the other carriers would be trying to get the ear of someone or other... they seem very passive and there is virtually no dissent. Domestic tourism? Folks are already broke, and events, clothes, food, and media (social and non-social) seem way more compelling to the average "domestic tourist." Is there really such a market? I think its just feel good happy talk to put a good face on what they hate to admit - foreigners bring and spend money liberally.

 

It is wild they would not even allow like a 2 week quarantine. Obviously the tourism market is going to be severely impacted, but to not even allow the option of someone who would go through the two week quarantine, therefore committing to spending quite a bit of money (2 weeks in an approved hotel just to start).... 

 

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Headshot

Tourism in the Philippines is not what most people think it is...

65% of tourists come from East Asian countries and spend very little money per capita in the Philippines.

Only 16% come from North America, 5% come from Europe and 4% come from Australia or New Zealand. It is a drop in the bucket compared to the Asians.

The other 10% mostly come from countries in South Asia, Central Asia, South America and Africa. Again, these are generally not people with high incomes.

Because this forum is heavily slanted toward what we consider Westerners (North America, Europe and Oceania), we tend to forget that most of the tourists here come from East Asian countries (or other third-world countries) where incomes are often not much higher than they are in the Philippines (if that). Add to that the fact that a good portion of the East Asians come here to learn English (mostly in schools set up by and owned by their fellow countrymen) rather than just spend money on tourist stuff, and it becomes apparent why many of them aren't that lucrative for the Philippines. Also, many of them break their visas by working in the Philippines while on a tourist visa, thus taking work away from Filipinos.

Edited by Headshot
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1 hour ago, Headshot said:

Tourism in the Philippines is not what most people think it is...

65% of tourists come from East Asian countries and spend very little money per capita in the Philippines.

Only 16% come from North America, 5% come from Europe and 4% come from Australia or New Zealand. It is a drop in the bucket compared to the Asians.

The other 10% mostly come from countries in South Asia, Central Asia, South America and Africa. Again, these are generally not people with high incomes.

Because this forum is heavily slanted toward what we consider Westerners (North America, Europe and Oceania), we tend to forget that most of the tourists here come from East Asian countries (or other third-world countries) where incomes are often not much higher than they are in the Philippines (if that). Add to that the fact that a good portion of the East Asians come here to learn English (mostly in schools set up by and owned by their fellow countrymen) rather than just spend money on tourist stuff, and it becomes apparent why many of them aren't that lucrative for the Philippines. Also, many of them break their visas by working in the Philippines while on a tourist visa, thus taking work away from Filipinos.

Good points. 

It will be very interesting to see the data in these upcoming months. 

I didn't think about the English school aspect, but yeah, many Taiwanese, Chinese, and Korean go to the Philippines and then just stay in schools that seem to be non-Filippino owned. I thought that was weird, it seemed to be prevalent in Lapu-Lapu. 

 

 

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Pman

What's the rules about flying in with your Philippine wife?

My wife wants to go home in December/January as we have a baby due to be born November 1st and she wants to get dual citizenship for him.

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mikecon3
4 hours ago, Pman said:

My wife wants to go home in December/January as we have a baby due to be born November 1st and she wants to get dual citizenship for him.

I'm just thinking out loud here, but since your wife is Filipino, couldn't you do the Report of Birth and then apply for a passport at the Philippine consulate in your area? Congratulations on the coming child, by the way! Getting the Philippine passport while you are there will save you from having to apply for him a visa when you apply for yours. You're going to be busy as it is applying for SSN, and US passport.

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Pman
On 9/19/2020 at 1:09 AM, mikecon3 said:

I'm just thinking out loud here, but since your wife is Filipino, couldn't you do the Report of Birth and then apply for a passport at the Philippine consulate in your area? Congratulations on the coming child, by the way! Getting the Philippine passport while you are there will save you from having to apply for him a visa when you apply for yours. You're going to be busy as it is applying for SSN, and US passport.

Thank you : )

Yes, we can apply. But the closest is in Washington D.C.

Not going there anytime soon. 

Maybe in a year or so after the election. Wife wants to fly to the Philippines Dec/Jan but I talked her out of it due to Covid insanity. Hope an effective vaccine comes sometime soon.

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to_dave007

Travelled to Badian last week for 4 days, and stayed at the cottage of a friend of mine. 

While there, I visited Moalboal, specifically to locate Lee, a fellow Canadian who ran a TexMex restaurant by the name of Taco's perhaps 200 or 300 meters up from te beach.  Found his restaurant..  and it was closed..  and followed my nose to locate Lee.  Happened to locate him on te very day when he finally decided to throw in the towel.. and sell all his restaurant gear..  and return to Canada.

His reason..  lots of restaurants and bars have reopened, and almost all are losing money daily.  He couldn't make his rent, like many others.  Then, the announcements that it will be last half of 2021 before tourism resumes..  That was the last straw. He doesn't have the money to wait it out that long.  He plans to return to PI..  but not to Moalboal..  Biliran he said..  less competition.

He commented that many other foreigners have left..  residents. not tourists.. vowing never to return.

Took a walk around in Panagsama area.. dead as a doornail.  Staff in most places are bored.. waiting for customers that don't come.

 

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hyaku
1 hour ago, to_dave007 said:

Travelled to Badian last week for 4 days, and stayed at the cottage of a friend of mine. 

While there, I visited Moalboal, specifically to locate Lee, a fellow Canadian who ran a TexMex restaurant by the name of Taco's perhaps 200 or 300 meters up from te beach.  Found his restaurant..  and it was closed..  and followed my nose to locate Lee.  Happened to locate him on te very day when he finally decided to throw in the towel.. and sell all his restaurant gear..  and return to Canada.

His reason..  lots of restaurants and bars have reopened, and almost all are losing money daily.  He couldn't make his rent, like many others.  Then, the announcements that it will be last half of 2021 before tourism resumes..  That was the last straw. He doesn't have the money to wait it out that long.  He plans to return to PI..  but not to Moalboal..  Biliran he said..  less competition.

He commented that many other foreigners have left..  residents. not tourists.. vowing never to return.

Took a walk around in Panagsama area.. dead as a doornail.  Staff in most places are bored.. waiting for customers that don't come.

 

All the Biliran whores are back here from Moalboal as well. 

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to_dave007
4 hours ago, to_dave007 said:

Travelled to Badian last week for 4 days, and stayed at the cottage of a friend of mine. 

While there, I visited Moalboal, specifically to locate Lee, a fellow Canadian who ran a TexMex restaurant by the name of Taco's perhaps 200 or 300 meters up from te beach.  Found his restaurant..  and it was closed..  and followed my nose to locate Lee.  Happened to locate him on te very day when he finally decided to throw in the towel.. and sell all his restaurant gear..  and return to Canada.

His reason..  lots of restaurants and bars have reopened, and almost all are losing money daily.  He couldn't make his rent, like many others.  Then, the announcements that it will be last half of 2021 before tourism resumes..  That was the last straw. He doesn't have the money to wait it out that long.  He plans to return to PI..  but not to Moalboal..  Biliran he said..  less competition.

He commented that many other foreigners have left..  residents. not tourists.. vowing never to return.

Took a walk around in Panagsama area.. dead as a doornail.  Staff in most places are bored.. waiting for customers that don't come.

One other thing I noticed, that I had definitely NOT seen the last time I was through Moalboal about 2 years ago, was a number of signs in Asian languages..  Japanese Chinese and Korean.  Restaurants.. bars and the like.  And several good sized construction projects.  Definitely appears that a new crew with fresh money had started moving in when COVID hit

Lee commented that before the lockdown came in March..  they were getting 500 Chinese a day in Moalboal.  He said he got sick..  "Sick as a dog..  Really sick..  On my back for more than 2 weeks"   and that all his staff and many of his friends also got sick..  all before a lot of the COVID news hit the air waves.  He was adamant that he had COVID.  There was no news of that here in Cebu at the time..  but there was no test kits in Cebu at the time.  So.. not sure what that means..  

When everything opens back up after COVID..  I expect that Moalboal will become an "Asian tourism" destination town pretty quickly.

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