Bohol prepares for opening the island to tourism

The island province of Bohol, one of the country’s popular tourist hotspots, may soon welcome local tourists before Christmas.

Chocolate Hills in Bohol

But unlike other major tourism destinations, the province is targeting to accept only “small and controlled” groups of visitors, primarily for meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibits (MICE) events, as well as weddings, according to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

To note, Bohol is dubbed as a rising star for luxury wedding destinations in Asia.

“We will see, maybe around November for events like weddings, team-buildings or any small group in hotels, provided that visitors will have negative rT-PCR results,” the tourism chief said in an interview aired over DZBB Super Radyo Monday afternoon.

Puyat said Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap will consult first all concerned sectoral stakeholders for the whole month of October as some remain reluctant in reopening the island specifically for leisure travel.

Yap said in a recent press briefing that the local government unit will discuss first how they will manage the reopening and finalize the health and safety protocols.

“If it’s events-specific protocols,  it would be easier to handle.  So, give us time and we are going to come up with our guidelines and further announcements,” he said.

Last week, Bohol's popular diving spot Panglao Island, recently hosted the hybrid edition of the largest government-organized travel exchange event, which generated about P4.5 million partial accounted revenue, out of the 32 bookings generated from 122 foreign buyers from 34 participating countries.