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DOT, BI warn of travel scams during Holy Week

by Carl Santos

TWO government agencies have asked the public to exercise caution to avoid falling victim to travel scams during the Holy Week break. 

In a statement, the Department of Tourism ”strongly advised” travelers needing accommodation, tours, transportation, and other tourism-related services to only patronize DOT-accredited tourism enterprises. 

”Accreditation by the DOT recognizes establishments as having complied with the Department’s minimum standards set to ensure quality operation of tourism facilities and services,” it said.

The nationwide list of accredited hotels, travel agencies, tour operators, and other tourism enterprises can be accessed here: https://beta.tourism.gov.ph/accreditations/#dot-accredited

The DOT Tourist Assistance Call Center will also remain open to the public 24/7  via hotline number 151-TOUR / 151-8687, mobile number +63995-835-5155, and the following platforms: e-mail address [email protected]; Facebook Messenger at https://www.facebook.com/DepartmentOfTourism; or web chat at https://philippines.travel/ and https://beta.tourism.gov.ph/.

”The public is advised to stay updated on travel-related news and safety guidelines from credible sources and to be cautious of unsolicited messages or offers, particularly from anonymous sources or unverified social media platforms or accounts, to avoid falling victim to scams targeting tourists, such as fake accommodation, travel tickets, and vacation deals, among others,” the DOT said.

The Bureau of Immigration also warned the public about scammers operating fake websites charging fees between P3,000 and P5,000 for registration on eTravel.

“We advise the traveling public to be cautious and register exclusively on the official government website, or through the eGovPH application. The eTravel registration process is absolutely free of charge,” BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said.

Tansingco urged travelers to register only through the official website at https://etravel.gov.ph 

Incorporating border control, health surveillance, and economic data analysis, eTravel functions as a single platform for collecting data from passengers as they arrive and depart.



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