Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto said Bohol is ready to absorb the increase in the number of tourist arrivals now that Boracay has been closed temporarily.
The key now is to stay on the top of the tourism game and improve on the readiness, not just of the traditionally promoted tourism areas in the province, but alternate sites as well.
Chatto made the reaction during the weekly media forum at the People’s Mansion on Friday.
He said the impact of the Boracay closure has been discussed in several fora including the meetings of the Panglao-Dauis-Tagbilaran Executive Council (PADTEC). It is expected tourists originally eyeing to visit Boracay will get diverted to places such as Cebu, Palawan, and Bohol.
The governor sees the opportunity to get more tourists as an “exciting challenge”. All of the tourism stakeholders should be ready to absorb the increase in tourist arrivals.
While there would be a surge in arrivals in May given Boholanos troop home for the fiestas, the real litmus test will be in June. By June, traditionally arrivals drop down compared to May. With the closure of Boracay, it is expected more tourists will come to sample what Bohol could offer.
THE BIG DIFFERENCE
The big difference which makes Bohol better than Boracay is the number of tourism sites. Boracay is a small island with only the white sand beach as the main tourism attraction. This is not the case of Bohol, which has other tourism destinations.
With the new Panglao Bohol Airport coming by August, it is expected Bohol will get more arrivals. Bohol has an advantage over Boracay since the Panglao Island is connection to a bigger island where there are towns already boosting their efforts to attract more tourists in their fold.
The governor said what is needed to be observed is how much will be the surge in arrivals.
While the province is ready to receive more tourists, there is a need to take a look at the quality of services, accommodations, and other factors in hospitality industry.
There are other aspects needed to be monitored such as environmental impact and other aspects continuously getting some attention.
The goal is to push the alternative tourism sites in the province. The governor cited the increased attention other places in the province is getting from tourists.
He said the Australian government is sending some of its officials to Bohol and will be touring the town of Anda and the Carood Watershed.
Chatto said there has been an increased interest in Anda and the Carood Watershed, which is a healthy indicator that tourists are now expanding their horizons and not just the regularly promoted sites in the province.
While these areas are getting more attention, the governor issued a warning to places that need to be regulated.
There should be a strict implementation on regulations on areas needed to be regulated.
He said the towns should be able to grab the tiger by the tail and take advantage of the opportunity to promote the tourism attractions of their areas.
The governor cited the people’s support in making the sojourn into tourism a success. If the people will continue to be warm, friendly, and accommodating—the tourism efforts of the province will soar high.
He cited the experience of the people who visited the province during the Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA).
The governor said there were plenty of positive feedback coming from the participants on how honest, courteous, and friendly the people have been here in the province.
Being customer oriented, and kind are the things that can push the tourism industry in the province further. (DSA)