Exec says Miss U activities prove Cebu safe
THE fact that Miss Universe organizers pushed through with its activities in southern Cebu despite a travel advisory issued last month shows how safe the area really is, a tourism official said.
“US advisory or no advisory, there were already talks that Cebu was going to be in the Miss U itinerary,” said Joselito “Boboi” Costas, Cebu provincial tourism officer.
Last November, the US Embassy in Manila issued a travel advisory warning American citizens not to visit southern Cebu due to threats of alleged terrorism and kidnapping.
Tourism stakeholders earlier maintained that although this was a cause for concern, it will be business as usual for tourism destinations in southern Cebu such as Oslob.
Costas said the Miss Universe activities there this week reinforces the idea that the area is a safe place to visit.
Costas said this would give a boost to tourism as a whole considering how the world today sees beauty pageants.
For Department of Tourism Central Visayas director Catalino Chan III said one way of countering these advisories is to hold festivals or big events in the areas subject to the warning..
“One way to make noise is to create festivals just to prove that we are safe,” he said.
Chan earlier said that the Miss Universe events will promote Cebu all over the world.
He said this will be a source of pride for Cebuanos since only a few destinations in the Philippines have been chosen for the pre-pageant events.
“It will show that Cebu is one of the best places in the country to visit,” he said.
He emphasized the need for stakeholders to give delegates the “best experience” they can have so that when they go home to their countries of origin, they will recommend Cebu as a go-to place.
The Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) has heightened security measures for Miss Universe contestants who will be visiting Cebu on Tuesday, when they will go swimming with the whale sharks in Oslob.
The first batch of Miss Universe contestants from Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and USA started to arrive last Thursday in Manila.
The delegates will be touring the country’s top travel destinations, with Cebu as one of their first stops, organizers said.
Cebu will also host the pageant’s swimwear competition next month, an event that leads up to the coronation night on Jan. 30 at the SM MOA Arena in Pasay City.
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