Manila is the capital city of the Philippines, which is also a prominent tourist destination in the Asia Pacific region. This densely populated city located on Luzon island houses many specimens of old Spanish architecture. It has a walled city at the centre, which is famous for the presence of San Augustine Church and Fort Santiago. However, the tourism industry in the Philippines suffered heavy losses during the last 2 years, due to the pandemic situation worldwide. Most airlines stopped operations and borderlines of many countries were sealed at that time. So, no foreign tourist would visit this archipelago nation in a long time.
In March Philippine has the lowest Covid-19 alert level
However, the COVID situation is much better now in the Philippines as reported in March 2022, as the favourable condition throughout Southeast Asia. Metro Manila region is found to have the lowest Covid-19 patients as per the reports published on February 28. The number of daily Covid-19 patients in the Philippines has decreased from 37,000 in mid-January to less than 1000 now. Hence, Cabinet Secretary of the Philippines Karlo Nograles declared the lowest Covid-19 alert level from March 1 – 15 for Manila, as this city is the seat of one-third of the economic output of this country. Most of the restrictions on movements are lifted here and people can move around for their work more freely now. Therefore, life will be much easier for people here, which will encourage tourists from abroad to visit this country to spend their vacations safely.
Restrictions will be removed from businesses
The limits on the number of people in all business establishments are also increased now. All offices are open now with their maximum workforce attending the office. All modes of public transport are back in action now, causing traffic jams with huge crowds on the roads as before. All shopping centres, movie halls, and restaurants are now allowed to operate with their full capacity, as it was during the normal situation before this pandemic.
As the number Covid-19 cases has reduced to the minimum due to vaccination of all people in this country, social distancing is no more essential for public interaction in all business establishments. Hence, restaurants no more need to place plastic barriers between tables, to maintain social distancing among their customers. Hotels and restaurants can again be booked for organising birthday parties, wedding reception parties, and other social and corporate events. Though all health restrictions are now removed, people still need to cover their faces with masks while going out.
The Trade Secretary of the Philippines Ramon Lopez informed that they are happy to see everyone back to normal life and expecting better economic conditions now. Since the economic condition of the country was the worst hit during the long lockdown period, people are now trying to restore from unemployment and poverty experienced in 2020.
What is alert level 1?
Alert level 1 is the lowest level of Covid-19 restrictions among alert levels 1 – 15 imposed in the Philippines. All restaurants and gyms are allowed to operate with their full capacity at the alert level 1, after maintaining the necessary health standards. The remaining few restrictions will be renewed after every 2 weeks, reviewing the current Covid-19 condition of the city. Since the number of COVID patients have decreased to a huge extent from January to March 2022, the Filipino government is moving towards declaring Coronavirus an endemic situation. Thus, borders with many foreign countries will be opened in March, to welcome tourists from those regions. People are now allowed to travel within the islands of Philippines and also from abroad, without any restriction on their age and health issues other than Covid-19.
Philippines to welcome tourists
Manila has opened air routes for tourists from most of the foreign countries. Visa-free travel is allowed to tourists from 157 countries in the world. Thus, more than 200 foreign tourists landed in Manila this week and they were heartily welcomed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. All of them were fully vaccinated and tested negative after arrival at this airport. It is a huge comeback for the tourism industry that is presently in a bad shape in this country, due to the pandemic situation for the last 2 years. Tourists are eager to explore the white sandy beaches and marine activities of Philippine islands. They do not need to fear the Coronavirus infection as it is at the lowest level in the Philippines. They also do not need to stay in quarantine after arriving in this city.
Tourism officials greeted the passengers at Manila airport
Top officials of the tourism industry were present at the Manila Airport to greet all the tourists arriving here from other countries. Tourists came from the USA, China, Malaysia, and other countries. Some of them came simply for pleasure trips to relax at the beaches of Manila while some were here to meet their relatives or friends living in the Philippines. Horse carriages and rental bikes were ready to carry tourists for sightseeing at the Walled City of Intramuros. The operators of these vehicles are hopeful in reviving their income opportunities. The high demand of Riyadh to Manila tickets from different airlines shows the enthusiasm of people in visiting the Philippines after a long time. Hence, all the hotels and resorts of Manila and other Filipino islands expect good business now.
Revival of the economy after nearly two years
Normally, the Philippines can be counted among a fast-developing nation where the economy grows at a healthy rate. But the pandemic of Covid-19 had severely disrupted the economic condition for the last 2 years, resulting in the increase of unemployment and GDP contraction for 9.5% in 2020. The tourism industry is expected to contribute to the economy now, after all the restrictions are now lifted for foreign tourists. Many other industries related to tourism are also hopeful in revival, like the hotel industry, entertainment industry, and food industry. The government has passed economic reform bills for the revival of the economy in this country. President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act, to decrease the income tax rates up to 30%.
Therefore, more tourists are invited to visit Manila, which is now safe and full of entertainment to make a memorable trip for them.