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The arrival of international visitors delighted tourist operators in Western Visayas.

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – After two years of mobility restrictions owing to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the administration of Eastern Visayas has reopened the country’s borders to foreign tourists.

As of February 23, hotels in the region’s six provinces and two major towns – Ormoc and Tacloban – have received at least 123 international visitors, according to DOT regional office records.

“The return of foreign visitors to Eastern Visayas is also an indication that they are confident that, even in the midst of this pandemic, they know that Covid-19 management is being done well in the region and that their health and safety is assured,” DOT Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Friday.

The reduction of entrance criteria has given the country’s tourism industry a boost in its endeavor to begin after nearly two years of downturn, according to Tiopes.

“While domestic tourism is the backbone of the Philippine tourism industry, we place a premium on foreign visitors because each one brings new money into the country. Domestic tourism, on the other hand, aids in the circulation of funds around the country’s many areas,” she noted.

The tourism official requests the industry’s main players’ help in carefully adhering to the government’s minimal health and safety requirements.

Eastern Visayas has 61,884 confirmed Covid-19 cases as of Feb. 25, with 61,062 recoveries and 661 deaths.

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