Tourism group: Hotels ready for ‘influx’ of Pinoys returning for holidays

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 1) — The country’s hotels are prepared to accommodate Filipinos coming back to the Philippines this holiday season, a tourism industry leader assured.

“The hotels are ready. I mean, they’ve been running on high occupancies naman [already] the past few months so sanay na sila to handle [they’re already used to handling travelers],” said Tourism Congress of the Philippines president Jojo Clemente in a Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum this week.

“And with the shorter quarantine period required now, rooms are being cleared faster than they used to be. So I think we can accommodate the influx now of the balikbayans,” he added.

Through the years, overseas Filipinos have returned to the country in droves during the holidays. But many are now daunted by quarantine and testing protocols, where they would have to wait for a few weeks before reuniting with their loved ones. And restrictions may tighten yet again with the threat of the Omicron variant.

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“Ready naman ‘yung mga destinations [The destinations are ready]. It’s just that we will have to ask people to be patient lang with the procedures because, of course, it’s part of health and safety protocols,” said Clemente.

“Konting pasensya lang [Please have a bit of patience] because we have to undergo a lot of processes. But otherwise they’re ready to take in people,” said Clemente.

With the country’s borders closed off to international travelers for now, the Department of Tourism is banking on local tourists in a bid to jumpstart the pandemic-stricken industry. Apart for quarantine purposes, hotels and other accommodation establishments have been used for staycations in recent months.