One Cebu Tourism Portal

Capitol to develop online portal as it opens tourism industry

July 14,2020 - 08:15 PM

Oslob has become a prime tourism destination in Cebu with its whale shark watching activities. | CDN DIGITAL FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Capitol is now developing a web-based booking platform that will provide for cashless transactions as Cebu province gears towards reopening its tourism industry under the new normal.

The move is part of the province’s tourism plan that is being crafted in collaboration with the tourism, health, and trade and industry agencies of the government.

Dubbed as “One Cebu Tourism Portal,” the online system will contain all tourism activities offered by the province that prospective guests can choose from. Payments will also be made online.

In a news release, the Provincial Information Office, quoting Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, said the tourism plan aims to ensure an “organized implementation of tourism activities” that adheres to the health and safety protocols that are being implemented because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Read: Capitol gears up for reopening of tourism activities as Cebu province shifts to MGCQ

Since June, Garcia had been meeting with the mayors of towns with tourist destinations to craft tailor-fitted health protocols for the operation of every tourism activity.

As the province officially shifted to a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) last July 10, Garcia said the tourism activities such diving, island hopping, canyoneering, and whale watching, which are popular in the province’s countryside, are allowed subject health standards and protocols set by the local government units.

Garcia is also set to release a separate executive order, laying down the province’s protocols for the tourism operations.

Read: Capitol to issue EO on tourism-related activities under MGCQ

“Garcia said a task force composed of the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Province of Cebu will be formed once the Executive Order is signed ‘so there will be check and balance,'” the news release reads.

Provincial Tourism Officer Maria Lester Ybañez was also quoted as saying that her office is now “trying to have an online booking [system] to control the influx of tourists and to aid the task force’s monitoring.”

The PIO said Garcia and the other members of the task force will visit the tourist sites in the southern Cebu towns on July 15 and 16 to get the stakeholder’s inputs on the province’s tourism plan.

The PIO said the province will be banking on the domestic market as it opens its gate to tourism under the new normal.

The tourism industry, among others, suffered severe blows from the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns enforced by government agencies. /bmjo

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