Zhyra Ibañez | PressOnePH

The Department of Tourism (DOT) advised the local government handling Boracay Island to simplify the travel requirements amid a deluge of complaints from tourists.  

“The Department of Tourism (DOT) expresses its concern on the numerous complaints related to the delayed processing of visitors’ requirements, leading to missed flights and disrupted travel schedules, particularly from leisure travelers applying for entry to the Municipality of Malay that covers the island of Boracay,” the DOT said in a statement.

The tourism department said that the most common complaints from tourists were the LGU’s request for itinerary and QR codes for contact tracing. Due to lack of manpower, it resulted in the slow processing of documents and inaccessible consumer hotlines.

The DOT reminded the local governments that they must ensure the requirements for travelers should be “streamlined and simplified.”

“After all, the pace at which the industry can bounce back from its losses will be largely determined by the policies that will be implemented by the national and local government, and the participation and cooperation of its tourism stakeholders and the traveling public,” it added.

The DOT also noted that LGUs have full jurisdiction over the entry of tourists as well as the processing of requirements.

“The DOT has reached out to the concerned LGU and reiterated its position and appeal to streamline and simplify the travel requirements for visitors — a vital component in ensuring the recovery of the island’s tourism industry and workforce that have been severely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” it added.

Boracay has already allowed fully vaccinated tourists to since November 16 visit the island by only submitting vaccination certificates instead of the usual negative swab test. Ronald Espartinez