The recovery of Puerto Princesa as a top tourist destination will depend on the strong collaboration and cooperation between government and the private sector.
Last year, Puerto Princesa’s recovery started when it reopened its doors to travelers. Then, disaster struck – Typhoon Odette ravaged the city, stalling tourism recovery efforts.
The pandemic erased approximately P10 billion in potential tourism revenues while typhoon Odette added another P300 million in damages to infrastructure and livelihood.
But the twin disaster failed to extinguish the city’s drive to recover. Today, , Puerto Princesa is determined to become even stronger.
Puerto Princesa Palawan City Tourism Officer Demetrio “Toto” Alvior Jr. said, “The road to recovery is not paved by just one entity. It entails a strong partnership between the public and private sectors. If we in government are the administrators of the state, our private sector partners are the bloodline.”
He said the two sectors are inseparable factors for Puerto Princesa and the government is determined to support the full recovery of its partners from the twin disasters over the last two years.
“The key to recovery is to enable and support the private sector to keep or resume their business operations. When it comes to our biggest partners, apart from other government agencies, it is the collective impacts of small business operations,” added Alvior.
When people were told to stay at home, tourist destinations lost money across the country. According to the Department of Tourism, visitor receipts dropped by 83% in the first year of the pandemic, equivalent to P82.24 billion in 2020 compared to P482.15 billion in 2019.
This year, the tourism department has three goals: full restoration of typhoon-affected tourist attractions; completion of the P3.5 billion Puerto Princesa Cruise Port; and an aggressive promotion campaign to attract local and international market.
Puerto Princesa is ready to welcome back foreign tourists. The city is one of the popular tourist destinations in the country with all tourism workers in the city fully vaccinated.
Helping small tourism-related businesses in Puerto Princesa—by patronizing local cuisine and booking in hotels, for example—will also help the bigger picture.
Puerto Princesa depends largely on tourism. From small businesses that cater to tourists to infrastructure projects like hotels, almost 15,000 local residents benefit from tourism.