The Department of Tourism (DOT) is one with the whole nation in expressing its deepest sympathies to the families and victims of the Super Typhoon Yolanda (international code name “Haiyan”), one of the strongest typhoons that made landfall in recorded history.
The towns that were severely affected are located in the provinces of Leyte and Eastern Samar, as well as a few places in the Southern Tagalog Region (particularly Coron in Palawan). The government remains on top of the ongoing search, rescue, retrieval, and relief operations for the victims of the Super Typhoon Yolanda.
The DOT is focused on the safety and monitoring of tourist movement in all affected areas and has no reports so far of any endangerment. The DOT’s objective is to focus on quick recovery so that tourism income is restored at the soonest possible time. Bulletin announcements will be posted via the DOT website (www.tourism.gov.ph), while DOT overseas and regional offices are also on standby to assist potential travellers and those already in the country for travel information. Local tour companies are in constant communication with their counterparts abroad to provide updates on the situation.
The Philippines remains a safe and fun destination for all tourists, notwithstanding this unfortunate incident. The DOT assures the travelling public that tourism establishments and tourism activities continue and remain in operation in the other parts of the Philippines, which play host to some of the country’s key tourist destinations. The great majority of touristic products are available, whether one is looking for a beach vacation, historical trip, gastronomic tour, or one of the many other possible travel opportunities. The country is home to some of the world’s great tourist sites and adventures with its unparalleled natural wonders, spectacular beaches, world-renowned heritage sites, modern shopping complexes, rich biodiversity, culture, and history.
The top destinations in the Visayas Region continue to be accessible through their respective ports of entry: Boracay Island through Kalibo and Caticlan, Cebu through the Mactan International Airport, Bohol through the Tagbilaran Airport, Iloilo through the Iloilo and Bacolod Silay Airports, and Puerto Princesa, Palawan through the Puerto Princesa Airport.
Tourism continues to be one of the major contributors to the economy, playing a significant role in rebuilding lives and businesses in communities. We rely on our partners, both in the private and public sectors, to embark on initiatives that will help us achieve normalcy and sustain the tourism growth, particularly in the affected destinations.
Filipinos have always been resilient and continue to be so now. The DOT is optimistic and hopeful that the Philippines will overcome and move forward from these difficult times.