PTC: Spike in tourist arrivals ‘dramatic’ amid Boracay closure

Passengers from South Korea arrived at the Tagbilaran City Airport via Philippine Airline’s inaugural Korea-Bohol flight in June, 2017.|File Photo: EdChatto Bohol

The temporary closure of Boracay has significantly boosted tourist influx in Bohol, but tourism stakeholders may have been caught off guard with the “dramatic” spike in arrivals, said Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) chair Lucas Nunag.

According to Nunag, several resorts and tourism-related establishments have raised concern over their capacity to offer accommodations and to provide adequate services to guests as daily arrivals continued to grow over the past weeks.

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Almost all of Panglao’s resorts were fully booked, said Nunag, noting that some establishments have even started to refuse to offer accommodations.

However, no exact figures have been tabulated yet as to the abrupt growth.

Nunag also pinpointed the Loboc River Cruise in the municipality of Loboc as among tourist destinations which have drawn more visitors amid the summer season and Boracay’s six-month rehabilitation.

“Lahi gyud ang arrivals karon, sa Loboc ang ilang problema karon kung unsaon pag-regulate, kay they have to think of ways nga modawat sila sa igo ra nilang makaya nga serbisyuhan,” said Nunag.

Nunag expressed concern over the volume of visitors as he noted that establishments may be unable to adequately cater to the growing number of guests, which could lead to unsatisfactory services and accommodations.

“Kay unya ug mag sige tag dawat, basin ma disappoint lang unya ang atong mga bisita ba kay dili ta andam in terms sa infrastructure, training,” said Nunag.

Meanwhile, Balicasag Island in Baclayon has already set limitations in accepting guests at the island’s word-famous dive spots.

The measure was imposed to maintain safety and keep the area from being overcrowded, Nunag said.

In August, the Panglao Bohol International Airport will start to accommodate international flights which are expected to further boost tourism influx.

According to Nunag, the current spike in arrivals should push Bohol to better prepare for the entry of more visitors later in the year due to the new airport.

Boracay is expected to re-open within the year but the Panglao airport is projected to continue fueling the uptrend in tourist arrivals in Bohol, he added. (A. Dodyora)



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