By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Number of tourism workers in Negros Occidental displaced by the Covid-19 pandemic has now reached 2,637 employees.
According to the updated data from the Provincial Tourism Office, 17 out of 31 local government units (LGUs) in the province showed that among those displaced were 1,218 workers from accommodation facilities, 68 from tour and travel agencies, 68 tour guides, 156 in the tourism and transport services, 123 at sports and recreation facilities, 68 at wellness centers, 716 in the food and beverage sector and 220 in other resorts.
These 17 LGUs are the cities of Bago, Cadiz, La Carlota, Kabankalan, Escalante, Sagay, Sipalay, Talisay, Victorias, and San Carlos and the municipalities of Hinigaran, La Castellana, Manapla, Murcia, San Enrique, Pulupandan, and Salvador Benedicto.
Provincial tourism officer Jennylind Cordero said that under the Department of Tourism (DOT) protocols, resorts and hotels in areas under general community quarantine and modified general community quarantine are allowed to resume operations, however, they are required to secure a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO).
Cordero also said “to open gradually with proper health protocol following DOT guidelines is good, we need to let our displaced workers go back to work.”
“The new normal is with strict health protocol and we should encourage more tourists to be aware of this, for safety, security, sanitation , social distancing and be sensitive to the needs of our fellowmen,” she said.
Earlier, provincial administrator Rayfrando Diaz said the provincial government encourages local tourism.
“We should be the ones to patronize our local businesses, tourist spots and restaurants,” he said./DGB, WDJ