Panglao Island, the crown jewel of Bohol tourism, will reopen to tourists within a travel bubble by the middle part of November.
The provincial government is currently establishing the health guidelines and protocols to be strictly observed, such as requiring a negative PCR test from guests prior to their travel to Panglao, to ensure a safe and healthy experience.
Provincial Administrator Atty. Kathyrin Pioquinto said in an interview with dyRD Balita on Monday, that the reopening of Panglao Island to local tourists is a step towards getting the local economy back on track.
At present, resorts and related tourism establishments in Panglao have slowly begun accepting local guests but apparently this is a far cry from the number of guests that flocked to the island last year, before the coronavirus outbreak.
The reopening date is set on November 15, said Pioquinto. This time of the year is considered the peak season for tourism in Bohol, which normally begins in the month of October and lasts until February.
Pioquinto said the presence of an international airport in the island of Panglao makes it an ideal destination in the realization of travel bubbles being promoted by the Department of Tourism (DOT).
“Travel bubbles” allow tourists to fly directly to tour destinations with an international airport, such as Panglao Island.
According to Pioquinto, the DOT and the provincial government look at the reopening of Panglao Island, comprising the towns of Panglao and Dauis, as viable due to the low incidence of COVID-19 cases, more particularly cases that are considered community transmission.
Recently, the Provincial Tourism Council (PTC), the Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants (BAHRR), and the local government of Panglao, conducted a meeting led by Provincial Board Member Jade Bautista, chairman of the committee on tourism of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, to finalize the health guidelines and protocols to be observed under the new normal in the province, which will be embodied in a provincial ordinance. (KB, RT)