Tourism is an important source of revenue for Philippines and last year’s earthquake has impacted the industry significantly.
Bohol, one of the most severely impacted areas, is a popular tourist destination, thanks to its beautiful beaches and resorts. The island is also home to one of the world’s top ten diving destinations and houses natural wonders such as the chocolate hills. However, the earthquake has led to a major setback for locals as their important source of livelihood has been severely impacted. The impact on tourism is seen across the country, which gives livelihood to nearly 3.8 million people in Philippines. Now post-earthquake, people are banking on this very industry to revive and lead the country and people out of the recent disaster.
Philippines had been struck with an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 on the 15th of Oct, 2013. The earthquake hit the central region of Philippines, early in the morning on a religious holiday. The earthquake had the epicenter about 620 km from Manila, near the Bohol Island, and it was placed 20 km below the surface.
The earthquake resulted in significant destruction, especially in the Bohol province. More than 200 people died in the natural disaster. The earthquake has affected an estimated 2.9 million people in the region. More than 50,000 houses have been severely destroyed or damaged. Around 350,000 people have been displaced by the disaster and the rebuilding efforts are on the way to bring things back to normal.
Damage of the infrastructure has been significant, especially in Bohol and Cebu Islands. The earthquake has resulted in destruction of bridges, roads, schools, hospitals, churches, government buildings, a port terminal, an airport tower and several residences. The degree of destruction has left the country shaken and it will take quite a while before things are restored to normal.
The lives of ordinary people have been impacted in more than one ways. The impact of infrastructure damage is far fetching. The damage to schools, hospitals and roads hasn’t allowed the life to return to normal as yet. Because of damaged homes, several people have been forced to live in temporary shelters, and the government will have to support rehabilitating the population that has been affected. The biggest impact has come in terms of the livelihood, which for many people in the central region of Philippines is through tourism.
The government is working towards bringing life to normalcy for the people who have been affected adversely in the earthquake. However, government resources are stretched.