CEBU CITY—Tour guides in Badian town, southern Cebu, are eagerly awaiting the resumption of tourism activities in the province.
Tourism activities in the province may be close to returning as Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has been conducting consultative meetings with tourism stakeholders.
The series of meetings were meant to lay down the guidelines to ensure that proper health protocols would in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) once the tourism industry reopens.
Donald Villarin, tourism officer of Badian, said at least 600 tour guides lost their jobs after the province was placed under community quarantine.
Badian has 60 canyoneering operators belonging to two organizations.
Villarin said after the town’s tourism activities were stopped, these tour guides had to find ways to make ends meet.
“Some had to sell goods in the mountains, while some resorted to online selling,” Villarin said.
Villarin said these tour guides didn’t have steady income in the past four months that the canyoneering in the town was disallowed.
Each tour guide used to earn P800-a-day, said Villarin.
Villarin added Badian lost at least P20 million in revenues because of the suspension of tourism activities.
Badian would usually earn P200,000-a-day and P60 million-a-year from tourism.
With the province already under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), Badian has already mapped out some quarantine measures to prepare for the resumption of tourism activities.
From a group of 60 persons, the town will only accept 30 persons for every canyoneering activity.
“Maximum of five guests per group plus two tour guides. We will have distance and time element from one group to another in every canyoneering. There will be a 10-minute internal between groups,” Villarin said.
Accepting tourists will be done through online booking, while social distancing and other health protocols will be strictly enforced, said Villarin.