Queblatin: Travel advisory against southern Cebu is ‘surprising’
CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — The travel advisory issued by the United Kingdom (UK) against the southern section of Cebu Province, which included the municipalities of Badian and Dalaguete, due to threats of terrorism is ‘surprising.’
Alice Queblatin, president of the Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialists (Catos), said this because she and those in the tourism industry had neither heard nor encountered any incident related to terrorism in the southern part of Cebu which were home to major tourist destinations in the province.
“We are almost used to travel advisories against travel to Mindanao; (but) to the south of Cebu (that) is rather a surprise because we have not had any untoward incident in this area, Dalaguete or Badian,” Queblatin told CDN Digital on Wednesday, January 2.
On December 31, 2018, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the United Kingdom (UK) issued an advisory to their citizens to avoid travel, unless necessary, to the south of Cebu extending until the adjacent towns of Badian and Dalaguete.
The agency also advised their citizens against all travels to the western and central portions of Mindanao.
The advisory was issued following the explosion of an IED (improvised explosive device) outside a mall in Cotabato City a day before New Year’ Day.
“The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the remainder of Mindanao (excluding Camiguin, Dinagat and Siargao Islands) and to the south of Cebu province, up to and including the municipalities of Dalaguete and Badian, due to the threat of terrorism,” the FCO travel advisory read.
Queblatin, however, said the tourism industry would continue to thrive with the booming patronization from other markets.
“Our daily tours to these places are ongoing; no cancellations; and continuous inquiries from other strong markets are keeping Cebu’s tourism alive,” Queblatin said,
“We look forward to sustaining arrivals and movements (for) the rest of the month and further, but we are cautious and maintain vigilance on unexpected events,” she added./dbs
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