I think it takes an outsider to see how the service and facilities fare in Bohol considering they claimed now that the island is a well-known tourist destination in the country. I basically consider myself an outsider now since I am living outside of Bohol and rarely gets home.
I have one word for Boholanos- IMPROVE!
Ambiance for example
From the tacky carenderia in some cockroach-infested street to the "high-end" restaurant in Tagbilaran, they share only one type of music. That is from a local FM station. I don't know if this is an ordinance or a sense of pride or a lack in the province. Music I mean.
Imagine yourself eating some organic food in The Buzzz while some gay DJ chattering overhead reading dedications to all the people in Bohol, naming them one by one. Ten minutes and he has not completed reading the names of some people. It is indeed irritating.
And while eating some local merienda fare at Painitang Bol-anon in the new Agora Square, the DJ spins I Know You Want Me by Pitbull. Of course I know I want my food but please not that music when I am eating a native cuisine.
Try riding a tricycle from the Agora Square to Governor's Mansion and you won't miss what the DJ was talking on your way there.
Boholanos still have that Pwede Na attitude. Tables still are wet and not cleaned just like three years ago when I was still staying in Tagbilaran. Waiters are still called so you can have a copy of their menu. And you still call them so you can order. Sadly, while waiting, it turns out your orders are out of stock.
Airconditioned places are like greenhouses. They still adjust their airconditioners to 28 degrees, competing the temperature outside. As if they could save this way.
You have no choice but go to hotels and resorts just to cool down.
That is why MetroCentre Hotel is almost always the option, maybe the last. They have a cafe that serves food 24 hours a day. They have Asian resto at the second floor. The beer is not cheap but cold. The waiters are always ready to serve you and remembers your usual order, despite you have been out for a while.
No. I am not promoting the MetroCentre. I am stating facts.
Interestingly, Gerry's Grill at BQ Mall also has an efficient service. That is without doubt because MetroCentre owners also owned the franchise of Gerry's in Tagbilaran.
Here in these places you won't regret tipping them because they serve you well.
Waiters and Crew
Quality service can be seen, felt and observed and you always know if it is right. Even in stores and carenderias. I can even tell if the restaurant has a dirty kitchen just by looking at their waiters. It all sums up to one significant person- your crew.
I think business owners should focus on their staff to impress visitors.
Bohol has a lot to offer. No one can argue with that fact. But if Boholanos wanted to compete with other destinations, they have a lot of issues to improve on. More than ten years ago, they have started improving things but what happened between those years, I don't know.
Most tourists would say going to Bohol is expensive. Resorts. Restaurants. Hotels. Even unknown pension houses priced their dirty rooms as if they were DOT-accredited establishments. I can stay in Dumaguete for a 300 pesos airconditioned room with a clean towel, soap, shampoo and heavens- hair conditioner. You could not find them in Tagbilaran.
If it is just expensive without the extra care and pampering that goes with the word Expensive, I think customers would not be going back. That is very basic.