News / Asia

Philippine Resort Suffers from Hostage Crisis

Police and SWAT members assault a tourist bus to rescue hostages at Manila's Rizal Park Monday, 23 Aug 2010
Police and SWAT members assault a tourist bus to rescue hostages at Manila's Rizal Park Monday, 23 Aug 2010
Ira Mellman

Last month's hijacking in Manila of a bus carrying Hong Kong tourists has prompted many hotel cancellations across the Philippines.  One popular resort island has been especially hard hit.

The turquoise waves continue to lap the still beautiful white sand beaches on the Philippine Island of Boracay, about 345 kilometers south of the capitol Manila.

But many of the beach chairs and chaise lounges are empty now after a former Philippine police officer hijacked a bus carrying tourists from Hong Kong in Manila on August 23. Eight of the tourists were killed.

The resultant publicity and a decision by the Hong Kong government to warn against travel to the Philippines has had a major effect on tourism to all of the country. Two days after the hostage taking, 800 room reservations were cancelled at Boracay hotels alone.

Last year, Boracay welcomed 650 thousand visitors. Tourists from China made up about 18 percent of that number. Morgan Wu is one of those who did make the trip from Taiwan.

"Actually I was a bit afraid of coming here," said Morgan Wu.

One MGM is one of the resorts reeling from the lack of customers. Tourists from China account for half of its business, those from Hong Kong about 7 percent.  Edwin Raymundo is the hotel's general manager:

"Definitely there's an impact, as we have also a reservation in Manila office, and they're in charge of taking all these bookings, and they reported to me that there's some cancellation due to this incident," said Edwin Raymundo.

Raymundo says there are still some visitors trickling in from China, but business from Hong Kong has come to a complete halt.

"I pray that this incident will be finished, and it will not prolong so much," he said. "And relationship between our country and Hong Kong will be still there."

Some of the visitors say the reaction to the hostage incident has been overblown.  Carlos Nazarino is an IT worker from Manila.

"It's really bad because, because of this one thing, because this one person did that thing - it affected so many people," said Carlos Nazarino.

Stephanie is a tourist from Germany:

"The Philippines is not a dangerous country," said Stephanie. "It's a nice country, very gentle people. But what happened, you know, is now in the spotlight and everybody's talking about it. But, something has to be changed I think."

Tourism authorities are trying to do just that, saying they will launch a massive advertising campaign to restore the image of the Philippines as well as offering budget promotions to lure back foreign visitors

You May Like

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid