CEBU is a prime destination for Australian travelers in post-pandemic travel.
This was what Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson said as he remained optimistic that after widespread vaccination against Covid-19, the travel industry will rise up again.
“Once we get through the pandemic and we can travel again, the opportunities are enormous. Before the pandemic, I really do believe that the Philippines is a fantastic destination for Australians,” he said.
Robinson said with the world-class Mactan-Cebu International Airport, he aims to get Australian airlines to fly in Cebu.
“(Then we can use) Cebu as the hub, then travel to tourist destinations around the country. It makes a lot of sense for us because Cebu’s got a fantastic international airport. If we can get Australians to fly and stay in Cebu, it’s got enormous potential,” he said.
Robinson said the tourism industries in the Philippines and in Australia are still being hit terribly by the pandemic.
“If there’s one industry that’s taken the brunt of the pandemic, it’s tourism. Tourism is vital for the Philippines; it’s absolutely fundamental for Australia. The number of foreign visitors that travel around is enormous,” he said.
Robinson said Australians currently travel in Southeast Asia like Bali, Indonesia.
However, the Australian ambassador said the Philippines offers as much if not more than the traditional places that Australians travel to in Southeast Asia.
Robinson said that by 2022, he hopes tourism will slowly recover, with 2021 focused on projections of global inoculation programs.
“Things will get progressively better over the course of this year. Most business people are looking at 2022. Much of 2021 will be on getting vaccines and starting inoculation programs as well as the starting of our economies,” he said.
Australia is pouring AUD500 million (P18.2 billion) over three years to support the ongoing vaccination programs of Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Robinson said a portion of the funds will go to the Philippines and will concentrate on high-priority areas like Cebu City.