MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Wednesday urged the local government unit (LGU) that is in charge of Boracay to simplify its travel requirements after receiving complaints from tourists.
“The Department of Tourism (DOT) expresses its concern on the numerous complaints related to the delayed processing of visitors’ requirements, leading to missed flights and disrupted travel schedules, particularly from leisure travelers applying for entry to the Municipality of Malay that covers the island of Boracay,” the DOT said in a statement.
The tourism department further noted that the most common complaints were the LGU’s request for itinerary and QR codes for contact tracing, the lack of manpower that result in the slow processing of documents, and inaccessible consumer hotlines.
The DOT said that while it understands the challenges and restrictions that hamper the local governments, they should see to it that requirements for travelers should be “streamlined and simplified.”
“After all, the pace at which the industry can bounce back from its losses will be largely determined by the policies that will be implemented by the national and local government, and the participation and cooperation of its tourism stakeholders and the traveling public,” it added.
The tourism department also pointed out that the entry of tourists and the processing of requirements falls under the jurisdiction of LGUs.
“The DOT has reached out to the concerned LGU and reiterated its position and appeal to streamline and simplify the travel requirements for visitors — a vital component in ensuring the recovery of the island’s tourism industry and workforce that have been severely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” it added.
Boracay has since allowed fully vaccinated tourists to visit Boracay Island by submitting vaccination certificates instead of negative swab test since Tuesday, November 16.
The island resort relaxed its travel requirements after 93 percent of its tourism workers have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the local government. They added that 69 percent of its residents have received full doses of vaccines against the new coronavirus.
Boracay reopened to tourists in September after quarantine restrictions were eased. There were 6,702 tourists who visited the island that month, according to the latest available data obtained by INQUIRER.net.
Tourists arrivals further swelled in October when 32,452 tourists visited the island, which is 1133 percent higher than the tourists arrival in October 2020 at 2,630, the data further revealed.
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