El Nido Resorts was the first tourism establishment in Palawan to obtain a certificate of authority to operate and to reopen its doors to tourists from outside the province through the travel bubble strategy. Photo from El Nido Resorts FB page

Starting October 30, top beach destination El Nido Palawan will ease its travel restrictions by allowing tourists from outside the province to enter the island under a test-before-travel policy. This means that travellers from the rest of the country can go visit the island as long as they test negative from COVID-19. 

The Department of Tourism (DOT) welcomes the development, which is part of the second phase of El Nido’s “travel bubble,” a tourism strategy meant to help jumpstart domestic tourism by segments and phases.  

“We thank and congratulate the provincial and local government officials and tourism stakeholders of Palawan for moving on to the second phase of El Nido’s travel bubble. Tourists must undergo RT-PCR test and get their negative test results at least 72 hours prior to their trip,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

Secretary Puyat met with Palawan local government officials including Palawan 1st District Rep. Franz E. Alvarez, and El Nido Mayor Edna G. Lim, and tourism stakeholders to finalize details of the expansion of the province’s travel bubble.

“The tourism industry’s reopening is gradually building momentum, especially after the news about the reopening of Boracay and the Ridge and Reef travel bubble between Baguio and the provinces of Region 1. Considering that Palawan’s El Nido has been consistently voted as the world’s best island, I would also like El Nido to be seen as part of the industry’s rebirth,” Puyat said.

Due to the pandemic, El Nido has lost Php 3.2 billion in visitor receipts and about 5,997 of its tourism workers out of jobs.

Currently, there are nine establishments in El Nido that have obtained DOT’s certificate of authority to operate, while 27 establishments already have provisional certificates of authority to operate. These establishments may start accommodating guests.

After successfully complying with the protocols set by the DOT, the El Nido Resorts was the first tourism establishment in Palawan to obtain a certificate of authority to operate and to reopen its doors to tourists from outside the province through the travel bubble strategy. 

Under this set-up, guests from Manila that have obtained a negative RT-PCR test result 72 hours prior to date of travel were allowed to board the 8 flights to Lio Airport via Airswift, and stay at one of the island locations of the resort chain since July.

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