EDITORIAL - Signs of recovery
(The Freeman) - August 19, 2017 - 4:00pm

Bohol's foreign tourist arrival is reportedly showing signs of recovery following months of decline. This is sort of good news considering the fact that tourist confidence was badly affected by the Abu Sayyaf incident in April.

An official from the South Korean consulate said Koreans, who comprise the majority of overseas visitors in the region, have once again showed signs of interest in visiting Cebu and Bohol as arrivals started to increase of late. 

Since it is vacation season for the South Koreans, police attaché Joseph Shin said many from their country have started to arrive in Cebu and Bohol despite the government being worried about their safety, although he commended the authorities here for their peace and order efforts.    

To recall, tourist arrivals in Cebu, Bohol and the whole region took a hit following the bloody encounter between the government troops and several Abu Sayyaf bandits who slipped into Inabanga town in Bohol from Mindanao. 

As the flow of foreign and local tourists into the neighboring province and other areas in Central Visayas starts to take its normal course, tourism authorities in the region need to ensure that the momentum is sustained.  

For one, security must be tightened with the local authorities guaranteeing the public, visitors and establishments that measures preventing any terrorist attack are already in place. Ensuring their security must be number one on the police's priority list if we want to regain tourist confidence in the region.

There's certainly a lesson or two to be learned from that Abu Sayyaf incident. And such lesson tells us that we should always be vigilant against those who want to create chaos. Four months ago, we were caught with our pants down when the terrorists managed to sneak into the region in a bid to sow terror.

Good thing those foreign tourists, especially the South Koreans, have started flocking to Cebu, Bohol, and the rest of the region. For this only means we are treading on the right path in the campaign to ensure their protection.

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