Camiguin Island is expected to open its ports to tourists n time for the province's Lanzones Festival on Monday, October 25.
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, who was in the island province on Monday, October 18, said the Department of Tourism (DOT) agreed with the provincial government’s move to reopen and revitalize the local tourism sector after it succeeded in fully inoculating over half of Camiguin's tourism workers.
If everything goes according to plan, Camiguin would be the first province in Northern Mindanao to open its doors to tourism since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DOT has identified Camiguin as among the top 10 tourists destinations in the country. In pre-COVID-19 times, it was among the country’s most visited islands, with tourism traffic of close to a million visitors annually.
Its annual Lanzones Festival and the holy week Panaad (Covenant) were its top crowd drawers until 2020, when Camiguin had to shut its borders to tourists because of the pandemic.
The DOT said 3,071 or 67% of Camiguin's 4,591 tourism workers have already been fully vaccinated, and all of them were expected to receive their jabs by end of October.
The list includes people working in Camiguin’s hotels and resorts, restaurants, bakeshops, dive shops, souvenir shops, vendors, boating services, transportation, salons, government frontline service, the tour guide sector, supermarkets, and financial establishments.
"With a healthy and 100% protected workforce, we are optimistic that we can provide greater focus on the task of recovery, and bring the fun back to tourism in Camiguin," Puyat said.
Camiguin Governor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo has issued an executive order that sets the following tourism guidelines vis-à-vis public health protocols.
“We are ready but there are conditions for tourists to follow before they are allowed entry into the island,” Romualdo said.
Here are the rules tourists must keep in mind before heading to Camiguin: