BACOLOD CITY: After months of closure because of the coronavirus, 79 of the 350 tourism establishments in Negros Occidental have expressed their intention to reopen, but only for local tourists and under strict health restrictions, provincial tourism officer Jennylind Cordero told The Manila Times.
“Of the 79 accommodation establishments 17 are from Sipalay City, 15 are in Kabankalan City, 12 in Sagay City and 10 in Cadiz City,” she said.
She added that Lakawon Island Resort in Cadiz City “just came to the office with intention to open for day tourists.”
“Even Magikland in Silay City is also opening soon after having been inspected and complied with health protocols awaiting permit from the local government unit,” Cordero said.
Data from the Provincial Tourism Office showed that seven component cities and 14 municipalities have allowed the resumption of resort operations.
Twenty one of the local government units (LGUs) in the province are only accepting local residents.
Other LGUs such as San Carlos City require tourists to have health certificates issued by their local city or municipal health office of origin. Meanwhile, Calatrava town is only open for day tours.
The cities of Kabankalan, La Carlota, Silay, Sipalay and Victorias and the towns of EB Magalona, Hinoba-an, Ilog, San Enrique and Toboso have yet to report any resumption of resort operations.
Under the Department of Tourism (DoT) protocols, resorts and hotels in areas which are under general community quarantine and modified general community quarantine are allowed to resume operations, but they are required to secure a Certificate of Authority to Operate.
Cordero also said “to open gradually with proper health protocol following DoT guidelines is good, we need to let our displaced workers to go back to work.”
“We have to support them in our own little way with caution,” she pointed out.
“The new normal is with strict health protocol and we should encourage more tourists to be aware of this, for safety, security, sanitation [and], social distancing and be sensitive to the needs of our fellowmen,” she said.