With the COVID-19 pandemic now under control in the country, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has allowed tourism operations and establishments to commence activities in the Bicol region.

According to DOT Regional Director Herbie Aguas, the reopening of the region’s tourism sector is a good omen for the economy and Filipino workers. 

“This is a very exciting restart for everyone, particularly for the tourism sector, wherein all workers are back to work and eventually would lead to a good economy,” he said. 

Aguas said the Bicol tourism promotions board has already prepared for the expected influx of tourists this 2022, specifically through domestic tour packages that will showcase the best products and services in every town and province.

These tourism packages will feature a lot of destinations, which include the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, and Sorsogon – tagged as Bicol’s center for “farming, faith, and food.” These three are also set to offer “eco adventure” packages.

Meanwhile, the province of Masbate will offer “drive and dive” experiences. 

“Bicol is now 100-percent open to tourists around the globe, provided they are [fully vaccinated], and for the unvaccinated, a negative RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) result is a valid pass,” shared Aguas. 

Flights and accommodations to the region have also become more accessible after travel restrictions were further eased. 

Aguas noted that all hotels are operational and international flights are now operating at Bicol International Airport in Daraga, Albay.

As of March 20, Bicol only has 1,919 active COVID-19 cases. Most of the region is also under the less restrictive Alert Level 2 classification except for Catanduanes and Naga City in Camarines Sur, which are already at Alert Level 1.

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Image credit: Rafael Loreto via Unsplash