‘Moving target’: Bohol eyes reopening tourism in the last quarter of 2020

/ 10:07 PM July 31, 2020

This file photo shows a stretch of powdery white sand and clear waters, which have been attracting tourists to Alona Beach on Panglao Island, one of the most popular summer destinations in Bohol province. INQUIRER FILE/LEO UDTOHAN

MANILA, Philippines — Bohol is aiming to re-welcome both local and foreign visitors in all its tourist destinations by the last quarter of the year.

Bohol Governor Arthur Yap said Friday that this is only a “moving target”, adding that the schedule will still be subject to consultations with the mayors of the province.


“The last quarter of 2020 is a moving target but what we want to do is at least keep our stakeholders looking at a target. Kung hindi kaya, we move it but at least there should be a target to reopen the local economy,” Yap said.

Yap said the provincial tourism council has submitted its plans and schedule on building confidence for visitors and locals as the province moves to revive its tourism sector.


The plan, Yap said, adopts the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) concept of a “tourism bubble.”

“Bohol will pick a foreign or domestic counterpart to establish a bilateral travel arrangement whether this be by air or sea travel,” Yap said.

“In Bohol, we will first have to do our homework. We will first work with the tourism stakeholders and LGUs of Panglao Island to ensure that their employees and services are anti-COVID-compliant,” he added.

Yap said this begins with the issuance of contact tracing cards and providing PCR tests for visitors when they arrive and leave Bohol.

Yap also said all establishments in Panglao Island will be accredited based on a provincial ordinance that will soon be passed.

Establishments have to follow health protocols, implement their carrying capacity, comply with environmental regulations, and have an online reservation and payment systems to be accredited, he noted.

And once accredited, they will be given the Ultimate Bohol Experience (UBE) seal.


“All tourism destinations in Bohol are encouraged to have themselves accredited. Without which, I’m very sorry, the establishment will not be open to tourism patronage,” Yap said.


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