OSLOB’s well-known whale shark watching ventures were officially reopened by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia when she formally relaunched the Province’s tourism activities on Friday, July 31, 2020.
Accompanied by local officials and members of the Provincial Tourism Task Force (PTTF), Garcia visited Brgy. Tan-awan in Oslob to help relaunch its whale shark watching ventures as a way to attract more tourists to visit the town.
Garcia’s visit to Oslob is part of her tour around Cebu’s towns to help revive the local tourism industry that has been greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
With Garcia were Oslob Mayor Jose Tumulak, Dalaguete Mayor Jeffrey Belciña and Provincial Board member Jose Mari Salvador.
Garcia said with the Covid-19 pandemic still ravaging much of the country, Oslob’s whale shark watching activities will have to accept only half of the usual number of tourists.
Before the pandemic, close to 2,000 tourists per day visit Oslob’s whale sharks. Now, the organizers are required to accommodate only 1,000 tourists per day.
As Garcia repackages Cebu as a “health and wellness destination,” all resorts and tourism activities must follow “new normal” health protocol to ensure the continuation of their operations.
Tourism providers must now buy disinfecting equipment as a way to prevent transmission of the deadly virus.
Counters must provide alcohol and sanitizers and must require their personnel to wear face masks and face shields when it contact with tourists.
In Oslob, boat operators are now required to provide life jackets and to regularly disinfect their equipment just before they are used by the tourists.
For those who want to go snorkeling with the whale sharks, exchanging diving gear such as snorkels and mouthpieces are now prohibited.
Tourists who want to swim with the whale sharks are now required to provide their own swimming equipment or buy their equipment situated near the area.
Tourists are also required to register on the Province’s website before they join any tourism activities.
Starting Aug. 1, the Oslob municipal government will start accepting tourists in their sites.
Meanwhile, Garcia will be visiting Moalboal to relaunch its diving and island hopping activities. (ANV)