CANDELARIA, ZAMBALES — The Department of Tourism (DOT) has given the Zambales provincial government the go signal to reopen its doors to tourists.
Beach resorts in 11 of the 13 municipalities situated along the coast, as well as inland tourist magnets like lakes, rivers, waterfalls, caves, and mountains, are the most popular attractions in Zambales that provide an annual income of P1.4 billion to the province.
Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. welcomed the decision of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat to revive the province’s billion-peso tourism industry during the online planning and consultation on Friday.
Puyat sais the approval of the reopening should come with certain protocols to ensure the safety of tourists from other areas. She added that the province has proven its readiness and capacity to maintain health safety protocols within its borders.
“Zambales is one of the most prepared and best-managed areas in terms of curbing the spread of the coronavirus disease,” Puyat noted.
“I think it’s now ready to open its doors to tourists,” she added.
Zambales has been known as having one of the best tourism industry in the country, with tourism being the second-highest revenue earner for the province next to agriculture.
He pointed out that tourist arrivals in Zambales alone reached over 700,000 last year, adding that residents of Zambales also frequent local resorts.
But while the province has consistently turned up in recent years among the top tourist destinations in Central Luzon based on visitor arrival, its tourism and leisure industry suffered the most after the Covid-19 quarantine was imposed nationwide in March this year, Ebdane added.
“We may be behind other provinces in reopening, but we really want to be fully ready and be able to observe first the limits of our capability before making the desired plunge,” Ebdane added.