By Minerva Newman
TAGBILARAN CITY – The Panglao tourism industry has lost an estimated of P1.014 billion in total accommodation revenues since February due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, according to Bohol Governor Arthur Yap in a press briefing Monday afternoon.
Yap bared that Panglao, which has 4,753 rooms in different resorts, hotels and related establishments and monthly, has lost about P308 million in room accommodation revenue alone.
The governor also estimated Panglao tourism to have lost P290 million in dine-in revenue, with some 10,000 tourism industry workers being affected by the pandemic.
Yap and Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero led the ceremonial rites in the opening of the tourism industry of the town under the new normal. Montero said they had almost three weeks to prepare the resorts, hotels and restaurants for tourism to re-open.
She assured the public of the resort town’s readiness in terms of health and safety protocols.
Montero said 15 percent of the tourism and related establishments already applied for LGU clearance to operate.
Yap said Panglao’s reopening will only be for domestic tourists, as well as visitors and guests exclusively from within Bohol.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has yet to allow the Bohol Panglao International Airport to reopen for domestic commercial flights.
Yap earlier said that tourism in Bohol will not be able to reopen under the new normal until a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratory is established in the province, and contract tracing capabilities enhanced.
The provincial RT-PCR testing facility is being fast track to operate by July 15 aside from the molecular laboratory at the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital, Bohol’s DOH-designated COVID-19-dedicated center.