DOT warns tourists against bogus travel agencies

 

By Bing J. Jaleco / April 13, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines – DOT Secretary Wanda Teo said hundreds of thousands of Filipino tourists travel domestically during the summer period.

 

With the summer season officially on in the Philippines, the Department of Tourism (DOT) reminded the public against bogus travel agencies, which usually offer “too-good-to-be-true” tour packages online.

 

DOT Secretary Wanda Teo said hundreds of thousands of Filipino tourists travel domestically during the summer period.

 

Based on DOT statistics, at least seven million Filipinos travel around the country between April and May, with Cebu as the top destination for locals.

 

With this, Teo said, the public must be ‘WISE’ in their travel plans, an acronym for “Work out your travel plans; Identify tour and travel agencies; See tourism quality seal; and Engage accredited service providers only.”

 

The DOT launched the ‘WISE’ campaign last year to help locals avoid being scammed by fake travel agencies that are prevalent on social media.

 

“We are in close coordination with the DOT regional offices to make sure that the list of accredited establishment and services are updated and posted in strategic locations, such as airports, terminals, and ports for easy reference,” Teo said.

 

She advised the public to verify the legitimacy of travel and tour companies by calling DOT regional offices, or by visiting DOT’s database online at www.accreditationonline.tourism.gov.ph.

 

Teo said travellers can also judge the authenticity of the travel agency by checking the tourism quality seal displayed at their offices, websites, and social media accounts.

 

She warned DOT-accredited travel agencies found to be involved in illegal activities would be stripped of their accreditation.

 

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