Bohol tourism down, resorts bookings show

November 10, 2014 9:11 am 

By Angeline Valencia

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Nov. 9 (PNA) — Significant drop in tourist influx has been noticed since 2011 as the bookings of guests in resorts here show.

Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan, owner of Dumaluan Beach Resort in Bolod, Panglao, raised the concern on dwindling room reservations, especially from foreign tourists.

The record shows that guests started reducing in number since 2011 and it worsened after the earthquake.

The statistics from the Department of Tourism also showed that tourist arrivals here went down to (-)six, while the other provinces continued to gain higher tourist influx.

Dumaluan has urged the government to make some moves to revive the usual tourism glory of Bohol, adding they have to come up with effective and smart marketing and promotion strategies for Bohol.

Dumaluan also mentioned high cost on transportation, food and other services as among the reasons that tourists would opt for other destinations instead, like Hong Kong.

He said that in the graph, Bohol tourism had its peak in 2001-2010, but it suddenly dwindled starting 2011 and remained consistently low since 2012 even on supposed peak season.

The earthquake came in 2013, and things worsened that until now, the tourism industry has yet to recover.

He said that in a gathering in Cebu City three weeks ago, tourism stakeholders from Dumaguete, Cebu and Bohol gave presentations in line with the preparations for the Visit Philippines 2015 campaign of the DOT.

In the recent record of DOT, Cebu stands at a rating of (+)16, while Dumaguete stands at (+14), but Bohol lags behind with the rating of (-6).

Dumaluan said he finds this disheartening and made him wonder what’s wrong in Bohol tourism.

He said he is one of those who has been in the industry for so long, and now that there are new big players and some smaller pension houses, they are like eating one cake and the share becomes smaller when shared by many.

This made him say the government and private sector lack some strategies in marketing and promotion.

“In Bohol, we are struggling this time and we’ve been labeled one of the expensive resorts to stay and some tourists might prefer to go to Hong Kong which would entail lower cost,” according to Dumaluan.

The prices of food, like fish, become exorbitant because the middlemen placed too much mark up.

Dumaluan said the accommodation sector like his resort has been flexible and there are price ranges, depending on the market. Room rates of resorts and pension houses range form P500, P700, P900, to P1,000 and above.

He also blame the boat operators, whom he said lack discipline, citing incidents wherein they charge more on top of the rental of P1,500 and they are even collecting P1,500 per stop.

Dumaluan called on the governor to intervene, and the resort owners to unite again in promoting Bohol.

He cited that before, there used to be aggressive campaigns in TV wherein the resorts took turns in shouldering the cost of TV commercials showing resorts and the beauty of Panglao and tour packages in Bohol.(PNA)

CTB/AV/PJN

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