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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid