As Abus wiped out, tourism seen to bounce back

After security forces wiped out the Abu Sayyaf Group in Bohol, the tourism industry is expected to fully bounce back from the incursion of 11 ASG militants into Inabanga last month which prompted foreign governments to issue warnings to their citizens on travel to the province.

Rommel Gonzales, president of the Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants, said that the killing of the last two ASG men on Monday would better reaffirm safety for tourists in the province compared to when the bandits remained at large.

According to Gonzales who is also the manager of the Bellevue Resort in Panglao, tourist arrivals started to increase as the number of bandits in the province dwindled during the past weeks.

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Meanwhile, resorts and hotels continued to implement stringent security measures while police and military were still scattered in the province including tourist areas, he said.

After the first clash between ASG fighters and government troops in Inabanga on April 11, there had been several reported booking cancellations throughout popular hospitality establishment’s in the province.

Online bookings had also reportedly decelerated during the period.

However, Gonzales expressed optimism that the tourism sector’s reinvigoration would continue in the forthcoming months.

He also noted that the ASG is not likely to reenter the province after its plans to carry out terrorist activities were thwarted by government security forces and vigilant residents.

On Monday, “Abu Asis” and “Abu Ubayda”, the last remnants of the band of ASG men who entered Bohol in April, were killed by government troops in Pangangan Island, Calape. (R. Tutas)



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