Tourist trap! DOT, DTI team up in probing P26K lunch at Panglao’s Virgin Island

The Departments of Tourism, and Trade and Industry are joining forces to investigate the alleged overpriced meals served in Bohol’s Virgin Island, which cost a group of tourists over P26,000.

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said the DOT is now coordinating with Bohol Governor Aris Aumentado and Panglao Mayor Boy Arcay regarding the incident, which has gone viral online.

“The alleged overpricing of seafood by vendors in Virgin Island, Panglao, Bohol is a matter that the Department of Tourism (DOT) takes seriously especially as it concerns the welfare of tourists whose continued support for our destinations is critical to the recovery of the tourism industry,” Frasco said.

The Tourism chief said the DOT partnered with DTI to set “reasonable pricing standards” for meals served to tourists.

“While the DOT understands the current predicament and challenges faced by many tourism-related businesses and establishments that are gradually recouping losses due to previously imposed travel restrictions, I believe that due care must always be given to the overall experience of tourists whether it concerns upholding the quality of accommodations, attaining a certain level of service, or ensuring the reasonable pricing of products,” Frasco said.

A photo snapped by a tourist at Virgin Island showed a total bill of P26,100 for a lunch spread, which consisted mostly of seafood items.

The netizen claimed her group tried to haggle the amount but the vendor prevailed. She said they had to send the balance of payment to the vendor via GCash as they didn’t have enough cash on hand.