BACOLOD City – A number of tourists who were supposed to visit southern Negros in 2017 have reportedly canceled their bookings following the failed ambush perpetrated by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Cauayan, Negros Occidental which wounded two Swedish nationals.
Negros Occidental Provincial Tourism Officer Cristine Mansinares said she was informed by tour operators that the Dutch, British, and New Zealand embassies have warned their citizens against visiting certain areas of the country, including Negros Island.
Mansinares said a number of tourists in Sipalay City also cut short their vacations and have reportedly returned home after the ambush last week.
During peak periods, more or less 1,500 guests go to Sipalay City in order to visit the resorts in the area.
Mansinares said some foreigners are hesitating to join the MassKara festival because of rebel attacks.
But she is hoping that the setback would only be temporary, especially since the travel season has already started in October.
“We hope domestic tourists would take the time to see some of the sites outside of Bacolod, especially the balik bayans,” Mansinares added.
Last week, more or less 30 armed NPA members ambushed a police patrol along Barangay Caliling in Cauayan.
But the five police officers repelled the rebels despite being outnumbered and even rescued three civilians who were trapped in the firefight.