Chinese tourists ban has no big effect to tourism in IGaCoS

The Samal Resort Owners Association (SROA) does not see huge impact on the recent ban of Chinese tourists by the Local Government of the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) as majority of the guests that frequent the island’s resorts are locals and balikbayans. 

Engineer Pastor Lozada, president of the association said 70 percent of the resorts in the island are small and normally the guests are locals and balikbayans.  

“Sa aking assessment hindi masyadong marami ang Chinese tourists na pumupunta sa Samal. I don’t know about the big resorts,” Lozada said in a telephone interview. 

On Thursday, IGaCoS Mayor Al Davaid Uy has implemented a temporary ban on Chinese and other Asian nationals following the arrival of 79 Chinese nationals from Jinjiang, China last Wednesday. 

The temporary ban stemmed from fears these Chinese nationals might visit the island amid the threat of 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The local government unit admitted that it does not have the medical facilities to handle such cases.

“I don’t think magkakaroon ng epekto ang temporary ban sa tourism sa island,” Lozada said. 

Samal Island, located in Davao del Norte, is frequented by tourists for its pristine beaches.

Meanwhile, the Consulate General of the Republic of China in Davao City has already assured that the 79 passengers that arrived in Davao City are not from Hubei Province, the epicenter of the dreaded Wuhan coronavirus.

Chinese Consul General Li Lin said each passenger is not a bearer of Chinese passport issued by Hubei Province and none had been to Hubei within the previous 15 days before their travel.

The Bureau of Quarantine Davao has also confirmed that the passengers were tested negative for nCoV. The passengers were checked through thermometer as well as underwent to the thermal scanner at the arrival area of Davao International Airport.

On Thursday, the Philippines reported its first case of nCoV. The 38-year old woman who arrived from Wuhan last January 21 was initially asymptomatic but was confirmed positive after tests.