[Published on BusinessWorld, August 7, 1997]
By Eduardo L. Jalbuna
ILOILO — Boracay resort operators had incurred losses amounting to P6.5 million as a result of reports of unsafe water in and around the island.
In a report dated last July 25 to Tourism Secretary Mina Gabor, Department of Tourism Region 6 director Edwin Trompeta said the losses resulted from the cancelled bookings of accommodations of about 200 days in 26 resorts and forgone income by restaurant and service operators in the island.
Mr. Trompeta said the only positive effect of the unsafe water reports is that everybody is already aware of their respective responsibilities in this issue.
He admitted government had been meeting resistance in the enforcement of environmental requirements among some operators of tourism outfits on the island prior to this controversy. “All resort owners are now complying with all the requirements which is a very marked improvement from our dealings with them in the past,” he noted.
Resorts, travel operators and localgovernment units concerned are now organizing a promotional tour for local and national media to the island in the middle of August. Mr. Trompeta admitted this is part of a major promotions blitz before the onset of the peak season which will begin this October.
A controversial DENR water quality test in 10 sites on the island in the last quarter of last year showed coliform contamination way above established acceptable levels. But DoT said this was understandable, since that
was the peak season for tourism activities on the island.
Mr. Trompeta also bared that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will conduct a seminar on requirements for securing environmental compliance certificates.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Boracay resorts brace for less tourist arrivals (1997)
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Boracay developers not worried over contamination controversy (1997)
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Boracay resorts face endless problems (1998)