Panglao Island in the province of Bohol will reopen its doors to tourists starting on Nov. 15, 2020 according to a ranking Palace official.
Bohol is known as the number 1 tourist destination in the Philippines, not only do they have the white sand of Alona Beaches, they have the Chocolate Hills, The Tarsier Sanctuary, and the Loboc River cruise, and many more tourists attractions that are only found in Bohol. Allen Varquez, president of Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, Inc. (BAHRR), said hotels, resorts, and restaurants are ready for the reopening of Panglao Island.
Panglao Island tourism is a major contributor to Bohol’s economy.
But tourism in the world-famous Panglao Resort Town ground to a halt during the pandemic when lockdowns were imposed to keep people at home. At least 10,000 tourism industry workers either lost jobs or were furloughed. In Panglao alone, the tourism business lost an estimated PHP 1 billion in hotel revenue and at least PHP 308 million in room accommodations. Panglao has 4,753 rooms for tourists in different resorts, hotels, and related establishments.
Chair of the provincial tourism council Lawyer Lucas Nunag said the pandemic has not changed Bohol.
“Beautiful as ever,” said Nunag. “We have prepared new sites especially relating to our heritage and cultural assets,” he added, referring to newly-restored churches that had been destroyed by the 7.2 magnitude quake in 2013.
Bohol Governor Arthur Yap said tourists are still not allowed to make unplanned or uncoordinated visits to the province’s various tourism sites. Tourists, he said, need to book their tours with accredited establishments. Those interested in going to Bohol should first register at the Bohol tourism website for a quick response (QR) code to book their tickets which serves as their “passport” while in the province. Before going to Bohol, tourists must also have proof of negative coronavirus tests 72 hours before their flight.