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The Big Five, seaplane venture to give Cebu tourism a boost

By: Jessa Mae O. Sotto October 03,2017 - 10:19 PM

CEBU Province’s “The Big Five” project and Air Juan’s seaplane venture at the South Road Properties are expected to give the local tourism another boost.

Joselito “Boboi” Costas, Provincial Tourism Officer, said they are training the local tourist guides from “The Big Five” areas which are the five chosen ecotourism destinations that the province is developing.

These destinations are Alegria, Argao, Alcoy, Aloguinsan and Boljoon.

The tour guides are trained on basic first aid, especially because they are the frontliners, and they should know how to respond properly to a medical emergency, said Costas.

He also said that Alcoy has just received a P10 million budget for ecotourism from the province, which could come in handy when the local communities would be ready to accept tourists.

He also cited the need for local residents to improve their proper waste disposal.

“The locals should see to it that their destinations are clean, wastes are properly managed and have existing policies that promote and support tourism development. So we need to build the locals and the local government’s skills,” he said.

He also said that the province is also developing more destinations.

He said municipalities in the south such as Dalaguete, Samboan, Alcantara, Balamban and Asturias would soon be recognized as tourist destinations.
In northern Cebu, the province plans to develop areas like Bantayan, Compostela, Bogo and San Remigio.

“These are LGUs which are very active and want to collaborate with us. We are thankful that they have supported and rallied behind us even if our resources are limited,” he said.

Aside from the province’s undertaking to develop areas in northern Cebu, a seaplane venture at the SRP, with plans to have a route for Malapascua Island is expected to spur more growth in the tourism industry there.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, in a Facebook post on Sunday, said that the seaplane airline, Air Juan, would start its operations once the construction of terminal docks at the South Road Properties are done.

“This increases the number of customers coming to the resort, keeps ticket prices manageable, and makes travel more faster and more convenient for those who only have so much time to take a vacation,” Osmeña said.

The routes of the seaplane will be from SRP to Lakawon Island in Negros, and to Malapascua Island in northern Cebu.

“Promoting Cebu as an access point for other parts of the country will boost our international and domestic tourism greatly,” he added.

Edilberto Mendoza, past president of the Cebu Association of Tour Operation Specialists (Catos), said the seaplane venture at the SRP would help attract more foreigners to Cebu.

“It will help boost tourism because we need more connectivity whether by air, sea and land. This will be one of the solutions to our connectivity needs,” he said.

He said this new mode of transportation would not only benefit tourists but also Cebuanos.

“It will help bring more visitors to Cebu. More visitors would mean more revenues,” he said.

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