BACOLOD CITY – Nine more Europeans stranded in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental were ferried by charter planes to catch their repatriation flights in Cebu and Manila during the Holy Week.
On Monday, the Sipalay City Tourism Development and Promotion Office said that its personnel, in coordination with the Negros Occidental Provincial Tourism Division, assisted the tourists in boarding their trips, photos of which were posted on its official Facebook page.
On April 11, two Swedish nationals took the Bacolod-Iloilo-Manila sweeper flight from Bacolod-Silay Airport arranged by the Embassy of Sweden.
Also, seven Germans flew on three Cessna planes from Sipalay Airport to Mactan-Cebu International Airport to board their Cebu-Frankfurt flight on April 8.
“Although the Department of Tourism has issued an advisory that the agency is no longer initiating flights for stranded tourists, there are still airlines with commercial flights or groups doing private charters to move stranded tourists to international gateways,” the Provincial Tourism Division headed by Jennylind Cordero said in an earlier statement.
Travel restrictions brought by the enhanced community quarantine imposed in Luzon and some provinces in the Visayas to control the spread of Covid-19 have left tourists stranded in various destinations in Negros Occidental.
Majority of the foreign tourists stranded are those who had been staying in Sipalay, a tourism hub in the south known for its white-sand beaches and unique dive sites.
The City Tourism Development and Promotion Office has been assisting stranded tourists in leaving Sipalay since last month.
On March 28, a Cessna special repatriation flight arranged by the Swiss Embassy flew two Germans, a Swiss, and a Bosnian from Sipalay Airport to Cebu.
A batch of 21 tourists, including 14 Germans, three French, three Swiss, and one British, were also assisted for their travel from Sipalay to Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental going to Cebu on March 25.On the first week of April, the Provincial Tourism Division reported that more than 100 foreign tourists have been stranded in various towns and cities in Negros Occidental. (PNA)