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Slick-free resorts cash in on oil spill tourism

September 1, 2006

By Hazel P. Villa

NUEVA VALENCIA, Guimaras – Call it oil spill tourism.All is not lost for beach resorts in the province whose tourism industry is reeling from the massive oil slick from MT Solar I, which sank on Aug. 11 in Guimaras Strait.

Working tourists

At slick-free Alubihod Beach here, four resorts have their hands full catering to the needs of a new breed of visitors – the “working tourists.” Wearing “oil spill getups,” they go to oil-affected coastal villages and islets almost daily carrying any of the following: spades, television and digital cameras, radio handsets and notebooks.

Since Aug. 16, Raymen Beach Resort’s 28 air-conditioned rooms and 14 ordinary rooms have been booked by some 60 Petron Corp. officials and employees, who are overseeing clean-up operations, according to resort manager Salvacion Gentizon.

Raymen still found space to accommodate a crew of 16 people from two television networks and the occasional reporter from international wire agencies and national broadsheets.

The resort charges P1,200 to P1,600 daily for air-conditioned rooms and P500 to P800 for ordinary rooms.

With Raymen as the resort of choice, other working tourists are accommodated by nearby beach resorts Freelance, Rico and Villa Igang.

Villa Igang is owned by the John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation that uses the resort as training ground for its maritime students.

All these resorts face Iloilo Strait and are accessible to the most heavily affected coastal barangays of Lapaz and Tando, some 11 to 15 km away.

Click slick tourism for the full story, Sept. 1, 2006.)

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