CORON, Palawan – Coron’s tourism industry is in good health again barely two years after super typhoon Haiyan’s devastation, according to Joselito Arzaga, the manager of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) at the Francisco B. Reyes Airport in this scenic town in northern Palawan.
In an interview with the media, who attended the 5th U.S. Embassy Seminar for Regional Media (Writing for Survival: Media for Marine Conservation) held here from June 11-12, Arzaga said that now, they are back to welcoming 400 foreign and domestic tourists a day since the first quarter of 2015.
“It went down when Yolanda (Haiyan) hit us in 2013 to as low as 200,” Arzaga told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Home to Kayangan Lake, which was held as the cleanest inland body of water in the Philippines, and as its ship wreck capital, he said “visitors actually, never stopped visiting Coron even after Yolanda’s devastating onslaught.
Most of those, who came and supported Coron’s rise from the super typhoon were reportedly Russians and Koreans.
“The LGU (local government unit) mentioned to me before that Russians and Koreans never stopped visiting us,” Arzaga said.
He added too, that there is no more “lean season” in Coron.
“We don’t have a lean season anymore. All year round visitors come. Tourism just sort of laid low for a few months,” he said, adding this was probably because of news reports of Yolanda’s destruction.
“When our airport here closed, people thought that’s going to be for a long time. However, when they learned that it was okay, and it went back to operation immediately, they’re back visiting us,” the airport manager said.
Arzaga disclosed that there are projects they are awaiting for the Francisco B. Reyes Airport, such as water system development that will have a budget from the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the landscaping of the parking area, and a new arrival area.
The DOTC, he explained, plans to utilize the old passenger terminal building adjacent the airport to become the arrival area.
The projects will reportedly happen before the end of the year. (PNA)