After staying in Jagna for more than two week, I start to have a rather deep thinking in the economic development in this town and this island. As far as I notice, the tourism could be viewed as an industry with high potential but not fully developed yet. In this blog I will be focusing on some problem and show some of my own opinions in the tourism industry.
The first and the most obvious problem is the transportation condition. Although the road construction is able to cover to most of the major tourist attractions, such as Chocolate Hills and Alona Beach, but still not able to reach some less famous spot. Tourists have to walk in mountains to reach the spot, which is very inconvenient, and not leaving pleasant impression to them as well. What’s worse is that due to the weather condition in Bohol, the road is easily be eroded by the heat and rain. Therefore, to keep road in good condition, regular maintenance is necessary. And for other place without proper maintenance, the damage to road is obvious, which increase the difficulty to travel around spots.
Some Spots are not even Covered by Road
Apart from the road problem, another weakness in transportation is that the method in transportation is simple and most of them are not advanced nor comfortable. In Bohol, I find that the most frequently used way to travel between villages is the tricycle or the minivan. In my opinion, although these two kinds of vehicle are flexible, none of them are comfortable or fast. Moreover, because of privately owned, the safety of these transportation method is not guaranteed, and not tourist-friendly as well. Another way to travel is to take bus, but the frequency of bus is quite low at some certain period of time in a day, and less than the frequency of tricycle on average. Although cars could be seen at times on road, but most of them is not for traveling use, but for private use instead. Therefore, I find that there is actually not a satisfactory way of travel between spots for tourists.
Typical Road View in Bohol and Jagna
Another problem is that tourist attractions on Bohol Island are not featured enough. Apart from Chocolate Hills, for other spots, we can find similar spots in other places in Philippines. There are plenty of spots with nice beaches, attractive caves, special species and colony feature in this country—actually these are considered as features of Philippines by most people. And actually most of my classmates are disappointed by the view in Chocolate Hills, also. Therefore, as a tourist attraction, Bohol is not unique enough in the Philippines. As well as the difficulty in transportation, it would not be considered as an ideal destination for many tourists.
The infrastructure condition around some spots are also not good enough. The most obvious problem is the lack of hotel. In Bohol, besides Tagbilaran, I can hardly find any hotel elsewhere. It means that the tourists have to stay in city and need to bear the transportation condition if they want to go to other spots on this island. This could be viewed as a threat to both safety and level of satisfaction to the tourist. For eatery, I find that around some spots, the food is not with high quality, even not safe enough. In my trip to Anda beach on last Saturday, there is an ice cream man selling handmade ice cream on the beach. At that time, my host grandma warned me that never eat his ice cream because it is not clean enough. I was astonished and wondered why he can still sell ice cream when most villagers know his goods are not clear. “But there is no one to regulate such thing”, concluded by my host grandma.
Therefore, in my opinion, to stimulate the growth in tourism, the government should firstly consider what there attractive points are, and try to set up the unique feature in Bohol Island, such like amazing and unique sightseeing trip, the well-designed holiday resort or special diving experience. Then the condition in transportation and infrastructure should be improved gradually to provide tourists with better experience. Finally, this island could be built to a nice and attractive destination for tourists.