Bohol tourism drops big due to Abu Sayyaf incursion


Posted at May 31 2017 05:50 PM

Bohol's tourism decreased in January to April this year compared with the same period last year, data from the Provincial Tourism Office of Bohol show.

From January to April 2017, only 167,789 tourists visited Bohol, compared with last year's 331,527.

Tourism Officer Jo Cabarrus said the decrease was due to the incursion of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Bohol last month. 

The terror threat, however, has been contained following the arrests and killing of alleged Abu Sayyaf members and supporters. 

The Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants are also alarmed at tourists' cancellation of bookings. Several countries had issued travel warnings on Bohol for their citizens. 

Currently, most resorts are only at a 60% occupancy rate when it is still supposed to be the last days of a "peak season."

The tourism office is now formulating a program called "Balik Bohol," geared to encouraging tourists to visit the province during the Sandugo Festival in July, and to show them Bohol is a top tourist destination safe from terrorists.

--Report from Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News