ILOILO CITY -- Resorts and hotels on Boracay island are counting their losses and bracing for lower revenues in this lean season as Chinese tourists cancel their reservations in the aftermath of the Rizal Park hostage drama that killed eight tourists from Hong Kong.
Edwin G. Trompeta, regional director of the Department of Tourism (DoT) in Western Visayas, told journalists here that six hotels and resorts on the island reported having lost a total of P7.439 million as of yesterday after tourists from Hong Kong and mainland China cancelled their room reservations.
The losses could run up to P30 million, if other related tourist expenses were factored in, he added.
"If we take into account their expenses on transportation, food, tours, souvenirs and other services during their stay in Boracay, we could lose P20 million-P30 million," Mr. Trompeta said.
The affected resorts and hotels were Boracay Tropics (P624,000), One MGM Resort (P300,000), Le Soleil (P432,000), Boracay Regency (P5,873,000), Boracay Mandarin (P120,000) and Grand Villa (P90,000).
Loubelle B. Cann, Boracay Foundation, Inc. (BFI) president, said several other hotels and resorts on the island have confirmed having lost reservations by Chinese tourists. She did not cite figures.
But she noted that Chinese tourists, who are already on the island, have not left.
"We talk about what happened and they are saddened. But they continue to enjoy their stay. Nobody has left after what happened," Ms. Cann said.
"I guess the cancellations are meant to protest what happened, but not because of security issues," she added.
Ms. Cann was optimistic, however, that the situation will normalize in two months.
Tourist arrivals are expected to increase when the peak season starts in November.
"Tuloy pa rin ang negosyo, lalo na ang marketing. (We continue to do business, especially marketing). And we are looking after our guests, especially their security. We just hope that we will learn the lessons of what happened and help the government improve (the capabilities of) our police and promote the tourism sector," she added.
Mr. Trompeta said arrivals from mainland China and Hong Kong in Boracay have been growing by up to 30% each year.
In 2009, some 35,000 visitors from China and 9,000 from Hong Kong visited the island resort. From January-June this year, Mr. Trompeta said some 20,000 tourists from mainland China and 5,000 tourists from Hong Kong visited Boracay.
Mr. Trompeta said they expect to receive 40,000 visitors from China and 12,000 from Hong Kong in Boracay this year.
There are 356 hotels and resorts with a total of 7,360 rooms on Boracay island.
Francis Allan Angelo, Business World