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Few troop to Mayon this year, says DOT Dir. Ravanilla

LEGAZPI CITY— Tourist arrivals in Albay province this year have significantly declined compared to the daily influx of visitors during the December 2009 Mayon eruption, Department of Tourism Bicol Regional Director Maria Ravanilla said.

Department of Tourism Bicol Regional Director Maria Ravanilla
Department of Tourism Bicol Regional Director Maria Ravanilla (Photo: DOT)
Wanting to quell fears, Ravanilla stressed that tourists are safe if they stay out of the 6-kilometer permanent danger zone and 8-kilometer extended danger zone.

Ravanilla, who also heads the Bicol Ecotourism Committee, added that hotel owners have already noted losses in their businesses.

She said that hotel occupancy rates increased when news of an impending eruption broke.

Since Mayon showed a lull in its volcanic activity, however, the occupancy rates have been fluctuating.

Meanwhile, Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal has expressed his disappointment at the current rate of tourist arrivals.

Rosal earlier cautioned the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) against releasing misleading reports which could directly affect business and tourism.

The mayor, however, remains positive that the organizations which have scheduled gatherings in the city for the remaining months of 2014 will not cancel.

Prior to this, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) called off the 2014 National Goodwill Games for employees due to Mayon’s restiveness.—BICOLSTANDARD.PH

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