Bohol to grant UBE seal to new normal tourism sites
CORTES, Bohol, August 1 (PIA) — With the opportunity to reboot the tourism industry here, Bohol officials now have their eyes fixed on Bohol’s branding that has remained a concept in the past.
The Ultimate Bohol Experience (UBE) seal is granted by the local government to tourism destinations that get accredited for local promotions support after passing the stringent policies that would assure tourists an elevated kind of Bohol experience they will never forget.
Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap shared this before Department of Tourism (DOT) Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, who came to Bohol along with DOT officials, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Eduardo Año, regional police and military officials, as well as Bohol local chief executives and solons including the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, tourism and peace council members and the media.
The UBE seal will be given to all Bohol tourism destinations which will be accredited based on the accreditation measures by the DOT and by local regulations which would be provided in an ordinance, the governor explained.
Short of detailing the provincial measure, the governor said the regulation would make sure the tourism industry workers and establishments in the new normal are all anti-COVID compliant, including a system in place for contact tracing and operations that follow the tenets of sustainable tourism.
Yap said some of the salient points of the ordinance fixing the UBE seal would be the establishment’s compliance to all health and safety protocols, compliance with the establishment’s carrying capacity, a set online system in place for booking and payments to assure lesser contact and compliance with the environmental standards, and requirements for a sustainable tourism.
New normal Bohol tourist destinations would be accredited according to presence of ample parking areas, sewage treatment processes, observance of carrying capacity, wastewater management, payments systems, the establishments’ carbon footprint, and its use of eco-friendly technologies.
The said standards have been put in place by only a few resorts and hotels in Bohol.
By this, while the corona virus pandemic has closed tourism business establishments, the gradual re-opening is now only possible after the DOT gave its approval following strict adherence to accreditation procedures.
The situation also incidentally allows a unique opportunity for Bohol to implement these measures to put in place sustainable tourism practices for the establishment to be granted the UBE seal.
While many tourism establishments may see this local accreditation procedure as an additional burden, the governor explained that the unique condition Bohol is in now allows local stakeholders to assure a tourism industry that is extra-sustainable.
The UBE seal, or the UBE Seal of excellence 001, has to be carried for a tourism establishment to be part of the tourism prioritized services when Bohol opens its doors again, the governor announced.
The UBE seal is a proposal conceptualized by members of the business sector under the Bohol Association of Hotels Resorts and Restaurants along with the Provincial Tourism Council.
The governor also told DOT that while the country may not be able to open up yet, Bohol targets the last quarter of 2020 but adds that this is a moving target.
The DOT and DILG secretaries came to Bohol to share the government tourism agency’s travel bubble concept, which might allow tourists from regions with zero to low COVID case as well as areas with a well-managed disease control.
As the country continues to struggle with the pandemic, national officials have said that infections are contained in several areas.
“We are looking at it on a per island (opening) and the country has about 12 international airports. All they need to do is fly in directly to the destinations, but we have to be assured they all come in negative,” Puyat said as she shared the tourism bubble concept they are selling to Bohol.
As Bohol shares its battle plan in moving forward, and while the national government intends to re-open the Philippines not as a whole but on a per island basis, the DILG secretary agrees with the governor to open Bohol “only when the Bol-anons are ready.” (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)