The battered tourism industry in the Philippines heaved a sigh of relief because the ban on entry of foreign tourists would end in February. It comes after nearly two years when the latest coronavirus outbreak is said to be under control. The country's economy relies heavily on tourism, and the livelihood of many people depends on the arrival of tourists. Many of them are engaged in running hotels and eateries. In contrast, others are involved in the transport business or sell trinkets. They struggled to remain visible; nursing hopes that foreigners would begin to Travel to the Philippines once again.

The entry of the virus destroyed the lives of people and businesses and redefined the norms of society. The disease was highly contagious. People began to maintain distance from others and avoided physical contact with strangers.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat confirmed the country would welcome travelers from more than 150 countries with visa-free privileges starting February 10. The quarantine requirement will not be there for those who are fully vaccinated and have tested negative prior to arrival. It seems the government had plans to lift the ban on December 1. However, the entry of the omicron variant delayed the opening.

Authorities in the Philippines formulated strict rules for the locals

One of the orders issued by President Rodrigo Duterte pertains to the locals who have not been vaccinated. The order is that they must not venture outside. Those who defy the order could face punishment. Public transport in the capital region will be meant only for immunized people.

This would be in force for at least up to the end of the month. Human rights and labor groups have protested. This is because of a gradual reduction in the number of infections. However, the government is firm. It intends to arrest community transmission of the omicron variant.

The country is a favorite destination for tourists.

They travel from far-off places to come and enjoy the new culture, enjoy the huge variety of culinary items on offer and go sightseeing. Unfortunately, Coronavirus disturbed the lives of many people.

Tourism in the Philippines devastated by the sharp drop in international visitors

The archipelago nation is renowned for its beaches and dive spots. However, it saw a sharp decline in the arrival of international visitors. That coupled with restrictions on domestic travel devastated the economy of the Philippines. A super typhoon in December wiped out resorts, restaurants, and bars to make matters worse. France 24 quotes an official of the President saying: "The tourism industry can now recover, and it can contribute big to jobs, livelihoods and the country's economic growth." The government has announced the resumption of visa-free travel for short visits by nationals from 157 countries.

These countries were already enjoying permit-free entry to the Philippines prior to the pandemic. The list does not include China, Taiwan and India. Nearly half of the country's population is vaccinated.