Samal Experiences Increased Vacancies{2}


I’ve not written about the massacre in Maguindanao previously, partially because I don’t feel qualified to speak on political matters in the Philippines and partially because that’s not what I or this site are about. Needless to say that I find the event unconscionable. It certainly did nothing to dispel the reputation that Mindanao has gained around the world.

The fallout of the tragedy is already reaching Davao and Samal Island in regards to the tourism trade. Occupancy rates for hotels and resorts that were already suffering this fall have taken a sharp turn downward since the Ampatuan massacre.

Simeon P. Marfori II, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told local media that hotels here lost about “200-room nights,” or roughly 18 room reservations cancelled daily, since the day of the massacre until Friday last week. “I believe the losses have continued to increase,” he said.

Davao City and nearby Samal Island, which have about 1,500 rooms available, had already been suffering with a little less than two-thirds occupancy rate in recent months.

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The hope is that fears will soon dissipate and the upcoming elections will help fill the rooms again, as has been the case in the past. At least as concerning, from a tourism point of view, should be the decline in occupancy prior to the unfortunate killings.

via: Davao City reports tourism backlash from massacre | BusinessWorld Online

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