How the Philippines could become a top destination after the pandemic

by Hervé de Saint Victor

August 7, 2020


Global News,

International Travel,


COVID-19 has really done a number on the year 2020.

At the time of writing, different areas of the world have returned to some form of travel (Europe), others are mulling their options (Asia) or discussing “travel bubbles” (Australia and New Zealand). Some, such as the United States or Russia, have limited options of places they could fly to due to their ongoing situations. This has led to a ripple effect on the economies of countries that are used to such clientele during a specific time of the year (

So what about our own backyard of the Philippines?

There is currently no timetable on the return of outbound leisure travel. Destinations used to seeing Filipino travelers (Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Holy Land tours, just to name a few) will have to wait that much longer for their return. But even if outgoing tourism is allowed, we will still be subject to the requirements and health protocols of the host country (i.e. Hong Kong has extended their compulsory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals until the end of 2020)

This leaves us with inbound travel to the Philippines.

We are specialists of travel and not health experts, so it goes without saying that the following is just a prediction which will only be possible when the country is deemed a safe destination for incoming international travelers. When will that happen? Your guess is as good as ours.

Forbes has already touched on this subject ( t-destinations-after-coronavirus/#1b32c89d5bdd) but we wanted to expand on why the wonderful archipelago Likha Travel calls home will be your next favorite destination.

Whereas previously “novelty experiences” was the buzzword on everyone’s lips, COVID-19 make sure that now “Safety” comes before anything else. Not having any land borders greatly diminishes uncontrolled entry into the country. Add to that an infrastructure that is constantly being upgraded; we have very few main points of entry, with the capital Manila, and the country’s second largest city, Cebu, leading the way by a solid margin.

This means that when the country will have successfully isolated the virus, it will be easy to ensure that there will not be any added imported cases. Currently, all incoming travelers that are allowed entry are tested at the airport and are isolated until the tests come back negative (usually between 24-48 hours), confirming that no new cases come in from abroad.

(Update as of August 4th, 2020 – Metro Manila has reverted to stricter form of lockdown, locally known as Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine, and therefore only returning nationals, OFWs or long term visa holders are allowed in the country)

We do not expect any quarantine period (or at least we hope so!) therefore once you have cleared the test, the 7000+ islands are there to welcome you.

Whether you really want to be safe and care about physical distancing, Amanpulo, the lone resort on Pamalican Island in the middle of the Sulu Sea ensures that you will not be able to define “overcrowded” during the duration of your stay.


El Nido resorts, with gems such as Pangulasian Island or Apulit Island also ensure that you will have your little private corner of paradise.

Pangulasian Island, Photo courtesy of El Nido Resorts

Apulit Island, Photo courtesy of El Nido Resorts)

Since the start of the pandemic, Palawan, where the aforementioned islands are located, has registered 0 cases and 0 deaths – which goes on to prove that there is enough space for safety!

If you and your family are adamant on not having anyone else around, why not rent out Banwa Private Island? With a maximum capacity of 43 people, and a myriad of activities, this is a perfect example of a place to celebrate a family reunion where all generations can be present and enjoy the time together.

Banwa Private Island

And these are just examples of safe destinations around Palawan, which has been voted by Travel+Leisure as the top island in the world for 2020! (

The country has a bit of everything for everyone, in various budgets, therefore you will always find what you are looking for. And if you do not, well then ask us and we will happily be up to the challenge!

We could continue, but we do not want to spoil any surprises. So, what are you waiting for? When the borders open, are you ready for a safe travel experience to the Philippines?

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