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Say that again Ace?

September 1, 2006

Oil spill hurts tourism, too

By NESTOR P. BURGOS

INAMPULUGAN ISLAND, Guimaras — The oil spill that has devastated wide areas of Guimaras is taking its toll on the promising and vibrant tourism industry of this island, resort owners and tourism officials say.

Tourism Secretary Joseph “Ace” Durano said that two weeks after the oil spill, resort owners suffered P3.54 million in losses from cancelled bookings and opportunity losses. He said tourists have stayed away from the island even if only a portion of the tourist destinations have been affected or threatened by the oil spill. (See blog posting Aug. 30 below)

Tourism regional director Edwin Trompeta said that, of the 24 tourist destinations affected by the spill, seven are beach resorts, four are island resorts are 13 are islets including the Taklong island where a national marine sanctuary is located. Helen Stummer, owner of the Nagarao Island Resort, said bookings made by their mostly foreign guests were canceled right after the oil spill tragedy.

The island is known for its diving sites. But sludge has covered its beaches since the MT Solar I sank southwest of Guimaras on August 11 carrying 2 million liters of bunker fuel.

The cancellations include regular guests who rent beach cottages from one to three months usually in the period from October to February. Salvacion Gentizon of the Raymen Beach Resort in Nueva Valencia said a booking for 30 guests from Manila who were planning to stay for three days was canceled.

(For the full story, click Visyayan Daily Star, Aug. 30, 2006.)

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