EL NIDO, Palawan — The chamber of commerce and industry in this town and the association of restaurants and resorts will convene on March 11 to discuss COVID-19 and its effect on this town’s tourism industry.
El Nido Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ENCCI) and Cottages and Resorts and Restaurants Association in El Nido (CARRAEN) president Leonides Echague said in a phone interview with Palawan News that foremost in their agenda is to come up with a marketing strategy that will help members of the organizations invite domestic travelers to still visit their town.
Echague said despite the slow-moving travel movement due to COVID-19, business owners in El Nido remain positive that everything will come to a good end eventually.
“Magtulungan tayo upang lahat umasenso. Gagawa tayo ng mga strategy kung papaano natin ma-resolve itong mga kinahaharap na problem natin ngayon and I am optimistic na kung magkaisa tayo kayang-kaya natin ito,” Echague said.
It has been reported earlier that community-run tourism sites have been experiencing a low turnout of visitors despite the onset of the summer season that was supposed to usher an increased number of visitors.
The locals blame the looming threat of COVID-19 as the reason why there has been a decline in visitor arrivals for the past two months.
Meanwhile, Bacuit El Nido Travel and Tours Association or BELTTOA president Benly Lim, admitted that there has been a decline in bookings since the coronavirus disease was announced.
However, COVID-19 is not the only problem why El Nido has been suffering from the decline in tourist arrivals.
“Actually, hindi lang dahil sa COVID-19 ang ating pinoproblema kundi kasama na din dyan ang mga ibang travel operators na nag-o-operate na walang kaukulang mga dokumento” Lim said, “Kahit sa ganitong sitwasyon, syempre di pa rin kami magbababa ng presyo”.
I think kailangan lang natin na e-promote and El Nido sa mga turista at makatulong din ang mga advisories natin mula dito upang malaman nila na wala naman tayong kaso ng COVID-19 dito sa bayan,” Lim added.