Senith Araez established Whistler Travel and Tours in 2019. It provided various tourism-related services such as customized package tours, airline and ferry ticketing, accommodation, and car rentals.

“Whistler travel just started establishing its name and reputation in the tourism Industry in the past year. 2019 was good year for us. We had a great start, only to lose it all in 2020,” Senith shared.

Senith recalled the time when she had to let go of her staff and placed them on an “on-call” employment scenario setup.

“I really felt helpless. Ang hirap ng problema na wala kang mahanap na solusyon. Virus ang kalaban. We don’t even have a fighting chance. I had to cut costs so I told them that I can’t keep them all on payroll,” she lamented.

Senith received an email from the DOT about the CARES for TRAVEL and immediately found the lifeline she had been waiting for.

“When I received the email inviting us to apply for the CARES for TRAVEL, I immediately saw a possibility. I applied and was granted a loan which I used to pay for bills and for ticket fund,” she explained.

Although she only has two employees back on board right now. She is hopeful that things will eventually get better.

Through proper coordination with the local government and other private partners, Whistler Travel and Tours came up with new procedures and protocols on how to handle its clients’ needs safely and effectively during the pandemic.

“Times are tough but we won’t win if we give up now.” Senith concluded.