BY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL G. BAÑAGA
BACOLOD City – The tourism and fishery sectors in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental have also been badly hit by super typhoon “Odette”.
Sipalay City tourism officer Jeck Lacson, in a radio interview, said they counted at least 61 accommodation establishments which suffered extensive damage (and with a combined cost of P11.9 million).
The establishments are located in 11 barangays and are composed of resorts, pension houses, inns, and mountain resorts.
Several beach areas were also deformed, and debris in some areas had yet to be cleared.
Lacson described the typhoon as the biggest natural calamity to hit the city to date and it is now a challenge for the local accommodation establishments as to how they can bounce back from the devastation.
There are also no recorded stranded foreign or local tourists in the city, as all of them were able to get out of the city when the primary roads were cleared.
Lacson said they are also confident that they will be able to revive the local tourism industry by next year.
In the meantime, he advised tourists who still want to visit the city to check their official social media page for travel guidelines as well as to which accommodation establishments have resumed operations.
Meanwhile, the city’s fishing industry also suffered extensive damage as a lot of fishing boats in the city were also destroyed by the typhoon.
Several fishermen are also limiting their catch due to the lack of storage facilities brought by the ongoing power outage in the city.
Although there is currently no data yet as to the cost of damages to the city’s fishing industry, Lacson said they have received assurances from the Department of Trade and Industry that they will closely monitor prices in the city.
Sipalay City, located in the southern part of Negros Occidental, is a popular holiday spot due to the city’s beaches.
The fishing industry is also a primary source of income for the city as it is facing the Sulu Sea./PN