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Legazpi re-opens tourist destinations, activities

By Cet Dematera

AFTER almost a year of suspending all its tourism activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Legazpi City government has re-opened on Wednesday, Feb. 24, the city’s tourist destinations to all domestic and foreign tourists residing in the country, particularly the all- terrain vehicle (ATV) rides at the foot-slope of the cone-shaped Mayon Volcano and the boulevard and parks along the Albay Gulf.

The soft-opening via Zoom meeting was joined by the City Mayor’s Office (CMO); City Tourism Office (CTO); United States Agency for International Development – Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (USAID-SURGE); Junior Chamber International; Albay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI); and, the Legazpi City Tourism Stakeholders Council (LCTSC).

But Mayor Noel Rosal has quickly clarified that foreign tourists who are allowed to visit Legazpi are only those who are already residing in the Philippines prior to the break out of the pandemic, and with ages between 15 and 65 years old.

Rosal was optimistic that the re-opening would attract visitors into the city’s popular tourist spots and activities, particularly the thrill-packed ATV adventurous rides to the rocky and bumpy roads leading to the black lava ejected during Mayon’s past eruption episodes.

“Even prior to the re-opening we are already getting words of foreign and domestic visitors expressing interest and willingness to visit Legazpi and enjoy its tourist adventures, such us ATV rides and strolling along the Legazpi City Boulevard, while savoring the sea breeze coming from the Albay Gulf that is facing the towering and majestic Mayon Volcano,” Rosal said.

He said that the re-opening of the tourism activities in this city serves also as a green-light signal for hotels and restaurants and other businesses connected with the tourism industry including transport sector to resume their operations.

But Rosal has reminded those visitors and tourists who want to stay in Legazpi to follow the mandatory requirements that include the original copy of the negative result of the Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) swab test or the Philippine Red Cross Saliva test taken within 72 hours prior to the arrival in Legazpi City, including the travel authority and registration to the Legazpi city tourist registration portal.

“They should also follow the supplementary requirements that include the roundtrip tickets for tourists traveling via plane; booking with Department of Tourism (DOT) accredited accommodation establishments; and, booking with DOT accredited tour/travel operators”, Rosal added.

Upon arrival at the terminal or at the airport, Rosal said tourists must proceed to the CTO clearance area at the Legazpi City Convention Center that would issue them a tourism passport as part of the tourist arrival protocol.

The city chief executive added that all the tourists should undergo a regular sanitation and health protocols and they should submit their luggage to the hotel and other accommodation establishments for disinfection.

Also, during the tour, Rosal said that the tourists must register in every tourist destination or in the establishments for contact tracing purposes and they should always follow the health and safety protocols by way of wearing face masks and face shields, frequent hand washing with soap or hand sanitation using alcohol and mandatory contactless body temperature check.

More economic activities would be opening in the city as long as the safety and health protocols would be consistently observed by everyone, Rosal added.

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