The newly formed Bohol Association of Tourist Transport Operators (BATTO) has appealed for backing from the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) of Tagbilaran City in its bid to block the entry of Southwest Tours Inc.
BATTO which was formed primarily to oppose the entry of Iloilo-based Southwest Tours also called for support in blocking other out-of-province tourist transport firms from operating in Bohol.
The SP, however, has not yet responded to the group’s appeal.
Doloreich Dumaluan, BATTO’s coordinator and former Panglao mayor, said that local operators will “do everything” to oppose the entry of non-Bohol-based companies in their industry.
The entry of large companies such as Southwest Tours would adversely impact local businesses, particularly the smaller ones, which offer transport services to tourists, he added.
According to Dumaluan, Bohol has enough vehicles to cater to visitors and there is still no need for more tourist transportation units.
There are around 700 vans, coasters, buses and other types of vehicles in Bohol which can provide service to tourists, said Dumaluan.
The figure however includes colorum or unregistered tourist transport vehicles.
As BATTO maintains its stand against Southwest Tours, reports have indicated that the firm has already secured a business permit from the local government unit of the tourist town of Panglao.
The permit expires by yearend. (A. Doydora)