Negros Occidental does not expect to get a huge spillover of tourists looking for alternative destinations from troubled world-famous Boracay.
This is because the people who go to Boracay in Malay, Aklan, are the party crowd, and Negros Occidental does not have amenities for that, provincial tourism officer Cristine Mansinares said yesterday.
Most of those who visit Negros resorts come to enjoy nature and not to party, she said, so only a smallspillover is expected.
President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday said he will declare a state of calamity in Boracay after calling for a clean-up of the island, which he earlier called a “cesspool” for its dysfunctional sewerage system.
There have been recommendations for the temporary closure of Boracay to tourists pending its rehabilitation, but concerns have been raised by Western Visayas labor groups over the dislocation of thousands of workers.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said he vowed a long time ago that he would not go back to Boracay because of its poor environmental sanitation measures that allow its sewage to spill into its waters.
He welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s taking action on the matter so the sewage problem on the island will finally be addressed.
Marañon said the resorts in Negros Occidental are clean, they have seawage treatment plants and they abide by the law.
He called on the public to report to him if there are resorts in Negros Occidental violating the law, except for those in Bacolod City that are not within his jurisdiction, and he will call on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to close them down.
Mansinares yesterday reiterated that Negros Occidental’s tourists last year increased by 7 percent at 1.724 million compared to 1.6 million in 2016.
Of the 1.724 million tourists 93 percent were domestic, 6 percent foreign and 1 percent overseas Filipino workers, she said.
Negros Occidental is working on further increasing its tourist arrivals, she said.
Mansinares said Negros Occidental will again showcase the best that it has to offer at the Panaad sa Negros Festival at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod, in April.
An added feature to the festival will be a food alley where the best of Negros food will be offered.*CPG
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