EDITORIAL - A downer for our tourism

The Freeman

Last Holy Week some tourists went to some resorts in Santa Fe, Bantayan Island, expecting to be accommodated. However, this was not the case as they had booked through someone on social media who only pretended he was connected with those resorts.

In short, he just took their money and ran with it.

We are not sure if this has happened somewhere else also, but considering how simple yet effective the con was, this is highly possible.

While this is a sad development it can also become a teachable moment; people should be more discerning when it comes to making bookings. While social media can actually be a good place to see how people rate a certain resort or attraction it really isn’t the ideal venue to arrange for stays, unless you are 100% sure that party you are dealing with is the resort itself.

Booking is best done on reliable websites put up for that specific purpose. While the internet can be used to fool others, it can also become a useful tool when it comes checking if someone is really that person he or she claims to be, or if he or she is really authorized to deal on behalf of a certain establishment.

This incident should also be a call for our authorities to pursue people who are into this kind of practice.

It is scams like these that give our tourism industry a black eye. Let us not forget that tourism is our bread and butter and we are still trying to rebuild it after the worst of the pandemic lockdowns kept the tourists away.

Con artists and scammers have become more tech-savvy and also imaginative, there is no doubt they will find more ways to part people from their money, especially those who just want to experience the beauty of our islands and the hospitality of our people.

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