‘Longer stay of APEC delegates, better for Cebu tourism’

By: Vanessa Claire Lucero September 18,2015 - 11:55 AM

DESPITE the tourism exposure that Cebu got from the first round of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in the province early this month, local organizers said it would have helped Cebu’s tourism sector even more had they been able to influence the schedule of the delegates.

“If we could have let them stay longer, they could have gone around not only in the city but other tourist destinations as well,” said Lito Maderazo, coordinator of the APEC Cebu Organizing Committee, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

“There are a lot of interesting places, but we had very limited time,” Maderazo said.

Department of Tourism regional director Rowena Montecillo, however, noted the positive reception to the complimentary and optional tours offered to delegates during the first round of APEC meetings.

“We heard from the delegates that they did not expect the tours to be that well prepared,” Montecillo said yesterday.

The tours included the heritage tours which brought the delegates to the sites highlighting Cebu City’s history and culture like  the Basilica del Sto. Niño and Fort San Pedro.

Montecillo said the DOT raised as much as P500,000 from the tours and sold 62 to 63 optional tours to the delegates apart from the complimentary and technical tours that they gave the delegates.

The Tourism department will be hosting another set of complimentary tours for the ministers this October.

These tours will be the same ones given to the delegates during September meetings, as approved by the APEC National Organizing Committee.

“We are thankful that a lot of the delegates were interested in the tours during the first phase of meetings,” Montecillo said.

“We are hopeful that we will have the same enthusiasm from the delegates during the meetings to be held in October,” she added.

Montecillo said she was grateful for the cooperation of the local government units who helped in planning the routes and suggested sites for the delegates to visit.

Maderazo, for his part, cited the need to improve infrastructure as among the things Cebuanos should improve on to address the traffic problems in the city.

He noted that the road projects were causing traffic in certain areas in the city.

“We should improve infrastructure because it is what is needed to address traffic congestion and not because there is a big event (held here),” he said.

He also said that overall the meetings were run smoothly by the APEC NOC.

“Cebu just had a local role with providing tours, managing traffic and assisting the NOC,” he said.

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TAGS: APEC, Cebu, tourism

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