DOT lures balikbayans to rediscover PH with new travel deals

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MANILA – The Philippines is inviting balikbayans (returning Filipinos) to travel back home and rediscover the country as it launched on Tuesday a website dedicated solely for overseas Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

The balikan.ph website, a one-stop site for Balikbayan-exclusive promos with as much as 50 percent discount on hotel and resort rates and worry-free, value-for-money vacation packages is under the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) “Balikan ang Pilipinas” campaign.

“Through the balikan.ph website, we can offer great travel deals from airlines and DOT-accredited hotels, resorts, and tour operators to our Balikbayans and their families. This is one way to make their visit here more affordable and fun, especially after a long separation caused by the pandemic,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

The balikan.ph page serves as an aggregator of information where different travel promotions and packages are posted for the consumption of returning balikbayans.

The website will then lead them to the merchant’s websites for the specifics of the deals and discounts.

The offers have been curated in cooperation with the various airlines, DOT-accredited establishments, the Philippine Tour Operators Association Inc. (PHLTOA), the Philippine Hotel Owners Association Inc. (PHOA), and the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International Inc. (HSMA).

The campaign will run until March 2022.

Based on the latest Bureau of Immigration travel advisory, only Filipino citizens, balikbayans, and foreign nationals with valid and existing visas from green or yellow list countries are allowed to travel to the Philippines, subject to health and quarantine requirements.The advisory, effective from Nov. 28 to Dec. 15, currently bars travelers who are from or those who have been to red list countries/jurisdictions within the last 14 days, except for Filipinos who are part of government and non-government repatriation efforts. (PNA)