MANILA, Philippines – Top tourist destinations in the country are feeling the impact of the August 23 hostage crisis in Manila.
Hundreds of Chinese nationals and Hong Kong residents have cancelled their planned visits to Philippines in fear of their safety, reports said.
A number of hotel bookings in Bohol, Palawan, and Cebu were shelved, according to the Philippine Travel Agencies Association.
The Department of Tourism (DOT), meanwhile, said Boracay leisure companies stand to lose between P7 million to P10 million because of more than 800 room reservations that were called off by Chinese visitors.
Chester Feliciano, a tour operator in Manila, said he lost around 600 clients in the wake of the hostage crisis.
“Wala tayong magagawa. Cancelled is cancelled. We understand their sadness,” he added.
DOT Secretary Alberto Lim said his department plans to launch a new promotional program to attract foreign tourists.
The plan aims to project a new image of the country, he added.
“Hahayaan muna nating maghilom ang mga sugat,” Lim said. - With a report from Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News