Amid COVID-19, ship docks in Puerto
Despite the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) scare, luxury cruise ship AIDAvita was allowed to dock in Puerto Princesa's port on February 9. The tourist ship with an estimated 1,200 crew and passengers passed the quarantine inspection in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, its last port of call before sailing to the Philippines, the City Tourism Office (CTO) assured in a Palawan News report. The CTO also said that the majority of its passengers are German and with no recent travel history to mainland China and other disease-stricken places identified by the Philippine government. Earlier, the CTO announced the cancellation of the port call of Silver Spirit after port authorities learned that some of its 650 passengers had recently been to China and Hong Kong .
El Nido remains free from COVID-19
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) had taken a toll on El Nido’s tourism industry, as 40 tourist accommodation owners received a total of 167 cancellations that translated to P1.4 million tourism industry loss in January 2020 alone. This developed after two persons under investigation, later found free from COVID-19, were reported to have visited the town. “Based on the trend we have, we are anticipating heavier impact as the issue [on COVID-19] develops,” El Nido tourism officer Arvin Acosta was quoted in a Palawan News report as saying. Relatedly, international flights going to and from Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China were canceled from February 5 to March 29 at the Puerto Princesa International Airport. Despite this setback, Acosta still urges tourists to visit this globally renowned tourism destination as it remains free from COVID-19 .
San Vicente to hold surfing tilt
Known for its 14.7-kilometer Long Beach, San Vicente is now offering surfing as its new tourist attraction. “The waves we have in San Vicente are actually quite good for surfing. This is in addition to other attractions there such as Long Beach, island hopping, and others,” said Tonino Habana, one of the founders of the SanVicSurf and president of the United Tourism Enterprise Association of San Vicente, in a Palawan News report. This emerging tourist town is set to hold its SanVicSurf competition and festival in Barangay Alimanguan on February 20 to 23. Around 20 surfers have already registered to compete in four categories — men’s longboard, men’s shortboard, women’s longboard, and juniors shortboard. Several beach activities, including the “Palarong Lahi” and Barangay Cultural Night, will also be held to keep visitors entertained during the festival .