New Capitol admin urged: Limit number of tourists for Oslob’s whale shark watching activities

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo June 02,2019 - 03:04 PM

Oslob has become a prime tourism destination in Cebu with its whale shark watching activities. |CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Vice Governor Agnes Magpale is encouraging the incoming administration in the Capitol to continue with the plans to cut the allowable number of tourists for the whale shark watching activities in Oslob town, south of Cebu.

Magpale, who currently heads the Committee on Tourism in the Provincial Board (PB), said the online booking system which was seen to reduce the number of tourists from the daily average of 1,000 individuals to just 800.

The Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) in 2018 conducted a carrying capacity study in Oslob which sets 800 individuals as the limit on the number of visitors to ensure “sustainable tourism.”

“I hope macontinue sad na kay kato baya, we would have gone down in history as one of the first provinces nga ato gyud nga initative ang paglimit sa number of tourists. Di ta mapareho sa Boracay nga na unahan sa national government,” said Magpale.

(If the online booking system has been pursued, we would have gone down in history as one of the first provinces that made an initiative to limit the number of tourists. We would not become like Boracay where it was the initiative of the national government to limit the tourists.)

The online booking system would have opened 800 whale shark-watching slots per day which will be divided among the local operators, tourism operators from Cebu City and those coming in from Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental.

Read more: Oslob tour operators complain of new rules

“Duna man gyuy mga walk in from Dumaguete. You cannot prevent that kay mas duol baya mo-cross lang ka from Dumaguete [City] to Santander. The intention is really good and that would have made nga mahapsay unta kaayo ang Oslob tourism,” said Magpale.

(There will really be walk-in tourists from Dumaguete City. You cannot prevent that because travel from Dumaguete to the port in Santander is quite shorter. The intention is really good and that would have made a very systemic process for Oslob’s tourism.)

Read more: Reservation system eyed to cut number of whale watching tourists to 800

Oslob, a town about 117 km south of Cebu City,  is one of the prime tourist destinations in Cebu as it prides its white sand beaches and the whale shark watching activities in Barangay Tanawan.

Governor-elect Gwendolyn Garcia, in previous interviews right after her proclamation as governor last May 15, said that the tourism industry would be one of her priorities in her program of government.

The province-wide Suroy-Suroy Sugbu, which will bring tourists to the destinations here in the province, is one of the projects that the incoming administration has vowed to implement./dbs

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