Thursday, March 4, 2021

Cebu to launch ‘Holy Week’ tour packages to lure tourists

CEBU - Going around the province after reopening the tourism industry, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia saw that “life is already emerging in the Province” – the resorts were full in the weekend and small businesses were sprouting.

However, it’s not enough. As Cebu opens itself to visitors from outside the region, the Provincial Government along with the tourism players and tour operators here will be offering pre-Holy Week and Holy Week tour packages for travellers from all over the country.

The packages, which will be patterned to Capitol’s already popular and successful “Suroy-Suroy Sugbo” concept, will be launched soon and this will be partnered with the private tour operators, airlines, transport operators and the hotels and resorts in the Province of Cebu.

Garcia said she will meet again with the Department of Tourism (DOT)-7 Regional Director Shalimar Tamano, Provincial Tourism Officer Maria Lester Ybañez and the players in the tourism industry to discuss the holiday getaway. Capitol will lead the program and the local government units will also be on board.

“Let’s work together para unified ta,” Garcia stressed, adding everyone should be on board to resuscitate the economy crushed by Covid-19 with minimum health standards.

She realized the need to do more and open up to more markets especially that Cebu is now ready with the guidelines and protocols to be followed under her Executive Order No. 12, which she also designed to make it easier for domestic tourists to visit Cebu and enjoy the Province’s renowned tourist attractions. 

Tamano also expressed the need for all players to adjust and cooperate in these unusual and challenging times during the pandemic. He said that when Cebu decided to open up for domestic tourism, they were elated and thanked Garcia for her efforts to revive the tourism industry.

Cebu and Visayas were declared as Conde Nast Traveler’s (CNT) 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards for best islands in the Asian region beating the likes of Sri Lanka, Ko Pha Ngan in Thailand and even Palawan and Siargao in the Philippines.

EO No. 12 is the first local initiative to encourage tourism activity domestic. Among its provisions, the Province will no longer require swab testing for guests who wish to come here, as long as they carry a medical clearance that certifies them to be fit and pass the symptoms check at the point of origin and upon arrival. 

Visiting guests will only need to present proof of booking at a hotel or resort accredited by the Cebu Provincial Tourism Task Force and or from the Province’s tourism portal for any tourism activity that they wish to participate.

Garcia said the packages should be affordable for tourist - from the air fare down to accommodations and transport for tours.  The CATOS/CTTA said they will help to sell the packages once it is launched. This would be a meaningful experience, Garcia said. (Mylen P. Manto)

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