Bohol tourism on the way to recovery
MANILA – Two weeks after a powerful 7.2-magnitude quake hit the province and its surrounding areas, Bohol’s tourism industry is back in business, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).
In a statement released on Wednesday, the DOT Region VII office reported that most tourism establishments have resumed operations, adding that several roads leading to these attractions are now passable.
It noted that the well-known Loboc River Cruise has been reopened, as well as the Tarsier Habitat and the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park.
Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez believes that Bohol’s tourism industry will be fully revived “in no time.”
“The resilience and optimism of the Boholanos clearly explain why their provincial tourism is a success. We are proud to show the world how the Filipino bayanihan spirit works best during these challenging times,” he said. “The DOT lauds the tourism associations in Bohol for their prompt action in bringing business back to normal, which demonstrates their collective commitment in sustaining tourism growth so as to contribute in rebuilding the tourism infrastructure and livelihood of local communities.”
“Now more than ever, Bohol needs its tourism income to move forward from this fortuitous event and it is a matter of making sure we have the right programs for rehabilitation,” he added.
Jimenez also thanked the assistance from international donor agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
Last Friday, USAID country mission director Gloria Steele went to Bohol to extend technical assistance to the DOT and Bohol stakeholders in preparation for a recovery plan for the Cebu-Bohol tourism development areas.
This recovery plan includes a communication strategy to bring back the confidence of travelers and locals in the two provinces; the assessment of tourism infrastructure and assets to be prioritized for rehabilitation; product development for new tourism circuits; governance programs; and long-term initiatives to sustain growth and reduce the risk of crises.