TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol – The travel ban issued by the United States government against the Philippines is not anticipated to make a dent in Bohol’s tourism industry.
“We don’t have much American tourists here in Bohol so the travel ban somehow does not affect us,” said Tootsie Escobia, provincial information officer.
He said most of the tourists coming to Bohol are local people and Asians.
The United States Embassy in Manila on Saturday cautioned Americans in the Philippines to be cautious in traveling to Central Visayas, referring to “unsubstantiated yet credible information” that terrorist groups may attempt to conduct kidnappings in the region, especially in Cebu and Bohol areas.
In Panglao, hotels and resorts were completely reserved through the Holy Week, with reservations done as early as last January.
“There are no cancellations so far as of today, the guests are enjoying [their stay] here,” said Anthony Ceniza, supervisor of Dumaluan Beach Resort II in Barangay Bolod, Panglao town.
He said that amid the Holy Week, their visitors are included 80 percent Europeans and 20 percent local people.
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He said a large portion of their visitors were from Russia, Germany and France.
The Alona Tropical Shoreline Resort in Barangay Tawala was also fully-booked.
According its operation manager, Rico Guigue, 60 percent of their visitors were Filipinos while the rest were foreigners who made advance booking in February.
“It’s business as usual,” said Guigue.
Tour activities and bookings have remained unaffected in the midst of the travel warning.
“There were no tour packages canceled by our guests. It is business as usual here,” said Lande Lawangon, a tour operator.
Bohol is one of the provincial hosts of the economic affairs meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). More than 200 representatives will be in the province on April 18-22 for the various gatherings.