With Mayon calmer, more tourists seen to visit Albay

With Mayon calmer, more tourists seen to visit Albay

Restive Mayon posts 79 volcanic quakes, 216 rockfall events in 24 hours With Mayon calmer, more tourists seen to visit Albay

View of Mayon Volcano taken from Daraga, Albay. | FILE PHOTO: INQUIRER.net / Ram Nabong

LEGAZPI CITY — As Mayon Volcano continues to quiet down, the tourism industry in Albay, which suffered a big loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020, is expected to bounce back.

Cristina Agapita Pacres, tourism officer in this city, said some of the big conventions and events scheduled in Albay were postponed when the alert level over the volcano was raised to 3 in June 2023 last year.


“Actually, compared to 2022, the tourist arrival last year increased because there were still visitors who were curious about the eruption of the volcano, although there were events postponed because of fear [of eruption],” Pacres said in a telephone interview on Thursday.


READ: Mayon quiets down; alert now at level 1

From 298,000 tourists in 2022, the arrival numbers increased to 523,796 in 2023. But Pacres said the figure was still low compared to the prepandemic record, particularly in 2019, which reached more than a million.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology lowered the alert status of the volcano from level 2 (moderate level of volcanic unrest) to 1 (low level of volcanic unrest) on Tuesday after it exhibited a steady decline in its monitored activities.

Pacres said with the downgrading of the alert status of the volcano, they were targeting to hit if not surpass the pre-pandemic record, with the increase in the number of scheduled meetings, conventions, and exhibitions this year. This uptick is expected to boost the province’s economy, benefiting hotels, transportation, and tourism-related businesses.

Herbie Aguas, regional director of the Department of Tourism in Bicol, said Mayon’s alert downgrade came in time for summer as most of the tourism activities at the foot of the volcano would be allowed again.

“The operation of all-terrain vehicles became limited in some areas, so now, they can advance a bit, with the permission of the local government units,” Aguas said on Thursday.

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TAGS: Albay, Mayon Volcano, Tourists

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