The Municipal Government of El Nido recently rebranded the famous Tours A, B, C & D into the “Seven (7) Wonders of El Nido.” The said 7 Wonders have 3 premium tours, namely, Small Lagoon Premium, Big Lagoon Premium and Matinloc Island Premium, and 4 regular island hopping tours, namely, Tapiutan Strait, Cave Exploration, History Islands and Cadlao Strait.
On October 26, 2020, the Office of the Sangguniang Bayan approved Ordinance No. 024 Series of 2020, “An Ordinance Amending Section 1 of Ordinance 101 Series of 2018 entitled ‘An Ordinance Regulating All Boat Owner/Operators Servicing Island Hopping at the Municipality of El Nido.’” The ordinance also prescribed the rates during pandemic when tourist boat capacity was limited to 50% by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA). The new rates are as follows:
- Small Lagoon Premium (Small Lagoon, Payong-Payong Beach & Secret Lagoon) – Php 1,200 per person.
- Big Lagoon Premium (Big Lagoon, Shimizu Is. & West Entalula) – Php 1,200 per person.
- Cave Exploration (Snake Is., Cudugnon Cave & Cathedral Cave) – Php 1,300 per person.
- History Islands (Sand Bar, Pinagbuyutan Is. & Commando Beach) – Php 1,300 per person.
- Matinloc Island Premium (Shrine Area, Hidden Beach & Secret Beach) – Php 1,400 per person.
- Tapiutan Strait (Istar Beach, Talisay Beach & Talisay Dos) – Php 1,400 per person.
- Cadlao Channel (Helicopter Is., Cadlao Lagoon & Pasandigan Beach) – Php 1,200 per person.
All seven (7) tour packages does not include food and the usual 5 destinations per set of tours are reduced to 3. Meanwhile, private tours at set to Php 6,000 for 1-5 persons while Php 1,000 is added for every additional person.
The idea of “7 Wonders of El Nido” was conceptualized in 2017 by Bacuit El Nido Travel and Tours Association (BELTTOA) to address carrying capacity issues and the need for product rebranding as proposed by the Municipal Tourism Office. And in 2019, The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) conducted the Carrying Capacity Study for El Nido when the municipality was on the brink of closure due to the degradation of the environment. The Municipal Tourism Office, then, viewed this 7 new tours as a good solution to decongest destinations.
During pandemic, rebranding and carrying capacity became urgent as the Municipal Health Office set limits already in the different destinations to impose physical distancing and the travel and tour sector is struggling to cope up with MARINA restrictions. In response to this and upon the request of BELTTOA for tour rates adjustments, the Tourism Committee of the Office of the Sangguniang Bayan composed of Hon. Rosano Llanera as Chairman, Hon. Christine Nicole Lim and Hon. John Rustom Vidal as members conducted series of committee hearings and drafted this ordinance.
Though the rates may be adjusted when El Nido returns to normal, the new 7 sets of tours might continue for a long period of time once the Carrying Capacity Ordinance is passed. Currently, the Municipal Tourism Office is working on the draft of the proposed ordinance, which became its priority after the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) accepted the DENR’s Carrying Capacity Study for El Nido on February 18, 2021.
May 11, 2021