With the scheduled completion of the new Bohol Panglao International Airport in July this year, there are alarming concerns which need to be attended fast in order to meet the demands once the increasing influx of tourists can be felt in the entire province.
DOT Regional Director Shalimar Tamano noted the urgency of some major concerns during a meeting with the Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) at Amarela Resort yesterday.
Prior his meeting with the PTC officers, the DOT official was briefed with the updates on the construction of the new Bohol Panglao International Airport.
There is a need to conduct an updated inventory on room capacity in the entire province particularly in Panglao area.
The DOT official was surprised to note that the figures on tourists’ arrivals in the province, has decreased even as most resorts and hotels are 90% fully booked.
Director Tamano was informed that the reason behind the reported decline in tourist arrivals is the non-compliance by majority of the Panglao resorts in reporting to authorities the volume of tourists billeted in their respective resorts.
PTC Chair Lucas Nunag and Romel Gonzales, president of the Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurant (BAHRR) expressed alarm on this non-compliance as it includes Henann Reort, the biggest resort with 400 rooms that has not been included in the tally after the resort declined to render their monthly tally of tourists arrivals.
Bohol Tourism officer Joe Cabarus confirmed during the meeting that only 31% of the resort owners are religiously reporting their volume of arrivals to the government.
Because of this non-compliance, Bohol got a low figure on arrivals
DOT Director Tamano said he will communicate with these resorts demanding they should report their volume of tourist arrivals.
Another concern are the environmental issues including the reported near-to-alarming level of coliform on the seawaters. Proper sewerage disposal of these resorts is badly required.
DOT Director Tamano expressed alarm on the expected increase in tourist arrivals once the new airport is completed by July this year.
With about 85 to 90% occupancy of the existing resorts, there might be a shortage of rooms in Panglao.
PTC Chair Nunag noted the surplus of technical studies for the environment compliance in the development of Panglao but none has been used for proper implementation.
Director Tamano said that once the new airport will be fully operational, there will be 10 arrivals in an hour, or seven aircrafts can be accommodated at any given time.
Because of this, additional rooms should be constructed.
Actual inventory of room accommodation is also being urgently needed to be conducted by the Bohol Tourism office.
A meeting among stakeholders with Gov. Edgar Chatto is scheduled on Feb 17 to discuss these urgent matters to be attended to before the new airport opens in July this year.