More than 7,200 hotels and resorts allowed to operate since lockdown

The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced that it has already authorized more than 7,200 hotels, resorts and other accommodation establishments to operate since lockdown measures have been imposed in the country.

These tourism businesses are now operating under different quarantine classifications and cater to the different types of travelers, depending on their location and purpose.

Since the quarantine measures in the country have been relaxed to allow people to go out, the DOT has been busy slowly reopening the local tourism industry through “travel bubble strategy” or allowing people to travel to tourism corridors in the country which successfully contained the coronavirus pandemic through stringent measures.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she is happy to see the number of tourism destinations reopen for domestic travelers. 

“Not only will a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO) or a provisional CAO (PCAO) from DOT indicate the allowable operation of accommodation establishments, it likewise adds to guests’ confidence, knowing that these establishments have been inspected and are compliant with our protocols that follow globally recognized health and safety standards,” she said. 

The tourism chief announced that the regions with the highest number of hotels and resorts issued with CAOs and PCAOs by the DOT are Region 4-A with 1,303, Region 3 with 830, and Region 1 with 806. 

Since the onset of quarantine restrictions in March, the DOT has been issuing CAOS and PCAOs to establishments, which are accommodating repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), essential workers and foreign and domestic tourists stranded due to travel restrictions. 

Inbound travel to the Philippines for tourism still remains restricted. 

The DOT shall continue its coordination with national government agencies under the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), local government units (LGUs), and stakeholders to safely reopen more destinations for domestic tourism, and steer the industry to recovery. 

“The DOT’s focus is to jumpstart domestic tourism first. We will continue our thorough inspection of the health and safety protocols in tourism establishments, so when non-essential travel among Filipinos and even inbound travel for leisure among foreign visitors are allowed, these will be ready,” assured Puyat. 

Puyat encourages accommodation and other tourism-related establishments to apply for DOT accreditation which remains free-of-charge and can now be done online.

Raquel P. Gomez
Special Features writer at Philippine Daily Inquirer. She is tasked to write anything under the sun, but certain topics appeal to her personally, like technology, gardening, cooking, food, movies, TV series, heritage and historical areas, and travel. You may email her at