THE Philippine province of Bohol is struggling with a tarnished reputation following a clash between the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group and the military that left 10 dead in April.
Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, Germany and the United Kingdom are among countries that have warned travelers against visiting areas in Mindanao and the Visayas.
However, according to TTG Asia, Philippine MICE specialists say most business events and incentive groups from Southeast Asia are still choosing to proceed with their travel plans.
Select Travel Services director John Emsermann told TTGmice: “We’ve got so many other destinations (in the Philippines) to choose from.
“For me, there has been no drop in my MICE business at all as groups merely tend to avoid the problem areas.”
The case doesn’t ring true for all MICE planners.
Blue Horizons Travel & Tours senior sales and marketing manager Marjorie Aquino told the publication, “We were supposed to have an educational group trip to Bohol in April, which was the same time as the Abu Sayyaf incident, but because of a travel warning, they decided to pull out.”
“Security issues and numerous threats happen everywhere. It’s just a matter of people being vigilant, but the destination can also help [alleviate fears by] heightening their security,” she added.