Upticks seen in Cebu province’s tourism portal

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | March 17,2021 - 11:07 AM
Santa Fe beach

Wooden outrigger boats, locally known as bancas, are anchored off the shores in Santa Fe town Bantayan Island. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Provincial Tourism Office in Cebu is upbeat in welcoming more tourists this year.

The Capitol on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, officially launched its Suroy-Suroy Sugbo Tour Packages, barely a month after Governor Gwendolyn Garcia decided to ease travel restrictions here, including eliminating the need for real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results. 

In partnership with the country’s three airline companies and local tourism players, these tour packages were initiated in the hopes of resuscitating the province’s ailing tourism industry. 

“We’re hoping these are attractive enough if it meant giving more boost in reviving our tourism. Tourism is already alive and well here in Cebu and this time, we are showing the rest of the country that this is the way Cebu does it,” said Marty Ybañez, Provincial Tourism Officer, in Cebuano.

Ybañez said guests can start booking for their desired tour packages this March 22 through the Capitol’s online booking portal, and that they are expecting the first set of visitors this March 29. 

“These packages’ promo will last up to six months. We initially decided to shorten its duration but of course, our stakeholders still need time to earn revenue and we still need more information in helping our tourism industry,” she added.

Last February 22, Cebu province became the first local government in the country to officially drop RT-PCR tests as part of its travel conditions for incoming guests.

Read: Cebu becomes 1st province to drop RT-PCR results as requirements for incoming local tourists

As a result, the remaining requirements needed upon entry are medical certificates, pass symptoms screening in airports and seaports, and documentary proof for Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) doing businesses here. 

Since the provincial government made the decision, Ybañez said they saw upticks in bookings made through the Capitol’s online portal. 

“We saw an increase but it’s not that drastic since we only recently relaxed restrictions. What we’re observing is a gradual rise, especially in weekends when a lot really go out to travel,” explained Ybañez. 

“And we’re hoping that our number of domestic arrivals will increase following the launching of the tour packages,” she added. 

Cebu province has been placed under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), the most relaxed form of community quarantine, since September 2020.

Tourism activities and events are allowed to reopen in areas under MGCQ. 

/bmjo

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TAGS: Cebu province, Cebu Tourism, Gov. Gwen Garcia, Marty Ybañez, Suroy-Suroy Sugbo, Suroy-Suroy Sugbo Tour Packages, Tourism portal

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