THE DEPARTMENT of Tourism (DoT) called out the local government of Malay, the town which has jurisdiction over Boracay Island, over “numerous complaints” of delays in the processing of visitor requirements, with some reportedly missing flights and an entire planned holiday.
In a statement on Wednesday, the department stressed that a simplified and efficient system for handling tourists under the new normal is necessary if the industry were to recover from losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Malay Municipal Tourism Office’s official Facebook page contained hundreds of posts complaining or trying to follow up on the QR code required by the local government unit (LGU) for those coming to Boracay.
The digital code is supposed to be sent to the traveler after the online pre-registration process is completed, subject to the local government’s approval.
“While the Department understands the challenges and restrictions that hamper the LGUs, it notes the importance of timely facilitation of such requests imposed on the visitors by the LGUs themselves,” the DoT said.
BusinessWorld requested for comment from the Malay government and the local tourism office but did not immediately get a reply.
The DoT extended its appeal to all local governments to help the industry “bounce back” by streamlining requirements and procedures to encourage more domestic travel. — MSJ