Influx of tourists seen in Sipalay diving sites

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The Sipalay City Tourism Office expects an influx of local tourists in diving spots and resorts in the Jewel of the South of Negros Occidental during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Since they started the gradual reopening of resorts for residents of Negros Occidental, Tourism Officer Jerick Lacson said they recorded about 3,900 visitors booked since Nov. 7 up to Dec. 31.

Snorkeling, boating in sanctuary areas, and island-hopping, are now allowed in Sipalay City.  |  Roger Beltran Photo

More than 60 percent of these visitors are from the cities of Bacolod and Talisay.

Based on data collected by his office for the two remaining weekends of December, some establishments are fully booked, particularly three days before Christmas Day and New Year, under the 50 percent capacity protocol.

The city allowed businesses to reopen and operate on 50 percent capacity to comply with the social distancing protocol required by the National Inter Agency Task Force for local government units under modified general community quarantine.

Lacson said that before the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, the resorts and hotels in Sipalay can accommodate up to 450 guests per day.

There are 54 accommodation establishments in Sipalay City, employing more than 300 residents.

Last week, the local IATF allowed snorkeling, boating in sanctuary areas, and island-hopping to select islands, and limited to eight persons every boat trip.

City tours and holding of any events in the resorts are still prohibited.

Lacson added the tourism business has slowly moved forward. This is a big help in reviving the economy after seven months of closures due to the pandemic. – MML