2 north Cebu island tourist havens recover from Yolanda; tourists influx still slow

By , on November 9, 2014

Sunrise in Bantayan Island, Cebu (Ching Dee / PCI)
Sunrise in Bantayan Island, Cebu (Ching Dee / PCI)

CEBU CITY — The islands of Malapascua and Bantayan, two major tourist destinations in northern Cebu, have recovered from the effects of super typhoon Yolanda, but tourist arrivals have remained sluggish.

Exactly one year ago today, Saturday, super typhoon Yolanda, believed to be the strongest typhoon in history that made landfall, brought vast devastation in Eastern Visayas and the northern part of Cebu.

The islands of Bantayan and Malapascua were among those that took the hardest blows of the typhoon destroying the islands’ major economic driver – tourism.

Tourism players in these islands said a lot of tourists are hesitant to visit the islands with the notion that these areas have not got back on their feet again.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) in partnership with the private sector aims to promote the islands to allay the highly speculative notions on the destinations and bring back business in the area.

The DOT wants to let the domestic and international tourists to know that, although full recovery is still underway, the islands are ready to welcome visitors once more.

While the disaster’s impact could still be seen in those places one year after, the tourism agency asserts the tourism business should operate whatever the circumstances.

DOT 7 Director Rowena Lu Montecillo said Bantayan and Malapascua Islands are now geared up to accommodate guests.

“It didn’t take long for the private sector to recover although, of course, there were really challenges,” Montecillo said.

“We want to tell everybody that northern Cebu, especially the two islands, have been ready since the middle of this year,” Montecillo said.