The Treatment of Royalty in Puerto Princesa
With strict enforcement of safety protocols, Puerto Princesa is once again prepared to welcome guests with open arms. In recent years, the highly urbanized and popular tourist destination was crippled by the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequently hammered by Typhoon Odette. However, it is currently on the road to recovery — as spectacularly as its scenic, romantic, and culinary attractions.
Along with agriculture, the tourism industry is the lifeline of Puerto Princesa. Approximately 15,000 individuals gain directly or indirectly from tourism. In varied degrees, the majority of current construction and development projects are tied to tourism, including hotel construction, parks, cruise ship ports, street lighting, highways, and many more. The city’s tourism officer, Demetrio “Toto” Alvior Jr., reveals that several of these events have been postponed since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Royal Relationship
Puerto Princesa, the capital of postcard-perfect Palawan, sprawls across 253,982 hectares with 106 kilometers of alluring shoreline. Due to its strategic geographical location and sufficient depth for ships of all kinds to anchor, it has earned the nickname “Princess of Ports” or “Puerto Princesa” in Spanish.
Puerto Princesa is without question one of the country’s finest delights. A vacation resort universally adored by tourists, beachcombers, and trekkers; a booming business center with rural charm; a provincial ambiance with modern conveniences; and a clean, green city renowned for its verdant forests, clean air, and frontier character.
Since the initial breakout of Covid-19 in early 2020, Puerto Princesa has struggled to regain its footing. Hundreds of tourism-related businesses have been forced to close due to the lack of tourists, leaving thousands of tourism workers unemployed.
Mr. Alvior explains, “The public health crisis compelled them to find new sources of income, which was made more difficult by the movement limitations imposed by repeated lockdowns.”
“The variable number of Covid cases contributes to low tourist arrivals, which in turn influences the assessment of quarantine requirements and national government intervention strategies.”
Today, Puerto Princesa is witnessing record-low economic losses, losing around P5 billion per year in potential tourist revenues during the past two years.
Mr. Alvior is cautiously optimistic as he states, “The City Tourism Department has been bolstering its social media marketing to encourage local tourists to visit local attractions in an effort to increase much-needed revenue in the struggling tourism sector.” “The City Tourism Department has one vital goal, and that is to prioritize relief for the tourism industry hit by Typhoon Odette.”
The objective is to restore the city’s reputation as an ecotourism capital. “Our 2022 objectives include the full restoration of all tourist destinations damaged by Typhoon Odette, including the completion of the cruise-ship port and other man-made tourist attractions. Puerto Princesa will be promoted extensively and aggressively on the local and international markets.”
A final frontier
Puerto Princesa boasts an abundance of tourist attractions. However, many visitors to the city prioritize the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, one of the New7Wonders of Nature. As the starting point for visiting the world-famous Tubbataha Reef, the city is also frequented by an abundance of explorers.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we have never stopped hoping for a better future. The year 2022 is no exception. And while we desire a complete recovery, we cannot afford to be reckless when taking significant moves. As we have a deeper understanding of the gravity of the problem, we recognize that our actions must be in line with the larger context, such as the national crisis, Mr. Alvior explains.
Since February 10, the city has been rejoicing in the return of more tourists, with the expectation that arrival numbers will soon return to pre-pandemic levels. In this effort, the department of tourism and the business sector share the privilege.
“While the government is the State’s administrator, the private sector is its lifeblood. Mr. Alvior states that the government and the private sector are inextricably linked to Puerto Princesa’s recovery and prosperity. “The key to economic recovery is enabling and supporting the private sector to maintain or resume activities. In addition to government entities, the cumulative influence of small-business activities is the city’s largest partner.”
Although Puerto Princesa is known as “The Last Frontier,” the City Tourism Department is convinced that it will continue to be every traveler’s top pick.