Bohol’s Tourism sector composed of hotel and resorts owners, transport providers, sites and attractions operators, and the Department of Tourism, came together to act on the state of tourism in the province in the light of the coronavirus outbreak.This in response to the global slowdown of tourism.
In the midst of the various travel bans in place as a result of the COVID-19 emergency, thousands of hotel reservations, and tour operations are seeing a sharp decline in volume and consequently in sales. As a local economy based largely on tourism, Bohol is definitely feeling the effects of the tourism slowdown reflected in a 40 to 80% decrease in tourist check-ins in the island.
In spite of these difficulties Bohol Governor Arthur Yap assures visitors that the province is a safe, and enjoyable. More attractions beyond, the chocolate hills and tarsier sightings are being established to ensure repeat visits.
All over Bohol, the eco-cultural tourism scene is growing. Cultural mapping done in recent years reveals a wealth of cultural heritage. Locally grown cultural collectives are using oral, artistic, culinary, and religious traditions to power their performances, local crafts, food places and purposefully built performance spaces to fund environmental protection and enhancement.
To promote all these attractions and keep up with airline travel promos, the province is launching its “Hot Summer Sale” which includes discounts on accomodations all over the island by as much as 50%!
Governor Yap, emphasized that Bohol’s tourism traffic comes by way of Manila, Cebu, and Davao requiring the use of connecting flights and boat rides to come to the island. This means that tourists coming to Bohol have already passed through at least one batch of screenings before arrival and the island itself implements its own procedures.
As a very necessary step, Bohol is strictly implementing strict quarantine and screening protocols in its various points of entry like the International Airport and its various seaports. measures including the use of non contact thermometers in all entry ports.
Among other health measures include the ubiquitous use of sanitizers in all public spaces. And an increased drive in hygiene and sanitation. Governor Arthur Yap also assures that in compliance with DILG directives, Tagbilaran City and all of Bohol’s hospitals have established quarantine areas.
Dr. Cesar Lopez of the Provinces Health Services, stated that 100% of all Bohol Barangays have established Barangay Response Teams, whose members are trained to set up quarantine protocols in their barangays should anyone be identified as a Person Under Investigation.
Dr. Cesar Lopez explaining the status of Bohol regarding COVID-19 and the measures taken by the Provincial Health Office.
As an update in the public health situation, the current number of PUIs in the province as of February 24, 2020 have reached zero as the former PUIs have all tested negative, according to the province’s health services.
Assuring the public of his commitment to public safety, Gov. Yap reminds that in the height of the African Swine Flu, Bohol has not allowed pork imports from Luzon to protect local livestock. “If I can protect bohol’s hogs, how much more Bohol’s people.” This in response to how he will balance a compassionate non discriminatory tourism policy vis-a-vis countering the spread of infection as he calls for informed caution which is not served by the spreading of fear via fake news.