By Mar S. Arguelles
LEGAZPI CITY ---- The Legazpi City Tourism Office said that the hold-up incident that happened on Wednesday (Nov. 1) morning was an “isolated case” and “a wake-up call” for the local tourism industry and stakeholders to plan and carry out security measures to protect local as well as foreign tourists visiting the city from harm and assault by robbers and criminals.
Cristina Agapita Pacres, City Tourism Operation Officer, in a phone interview expressed dismay over the hold-up incident against 4 ATV riders, saying “this is the first time and an isolated case where visitors touring Mount Mayon were victimized by robbers.” (See related story on this page).
Asked how the incident would affect the tourism industry, Pacres said that although it was an isolated case, a negative impact would somehow be created as similar cases would discourage visitors from coming to enjoy the sites and fun in the city.
Pacres said she would ask City Mayor Noel Rosal to convene a meeting with members of the City Tourism Council, tour operators, the Philippine National Police (PNP), village chieftains and other stakeholders to assess the situation and draw up security measures to protect tourists.
She said among the tourist destinations frequented by visitors is the Lava wall -- a four-story-high lava front in Barangay Mabinit here and the ATV trail along the foot of the volcano.
For hire ATV vehicles could be found in Barangay Pawa, a village situated the foot of the southern flank of Mayon volcano here.