TOUR agents and operators in Cebu are repurposing their activity packages to lure corporates to bring their small meetings “out in the open.”
Instead of confining to the four corners of a meeting office, Alice Queblatin, president of Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialists (Catos), said Catos members are now offering new meeting places for business owners and executives to conduct their work-related meetings and other team building initiatives.
During Day 2 of the virtual Visayas Area Business Conference on Friday, Aug. 28, Queblatin proposed the farm tourism sites, mountain retreats and coastal sites as new places where corporates can host their work-related functions.
Such initiative, according to Queblatin, who is also the tourism chairperson of the Cebu Business Month 2020, will reintroduce Cebuanos to Cebu’s natural attractions while observing the proper safety and health measures imposed by the government.
Cebu Province has already reopened the countryside tourism while under the modified general community quarantine status.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic halted global travel movements early this year, Queblatin said businesses of travel agents and operators have been “extremely affected” as they face major concerns such as the lack of business opportunities, labor concerns, travel restrictions and the lack of market to sell their services to.
“The battle cry of our sector is really to save PH tourism,” she said, adding that a unified tourism marketing plan is crucial in rebuilding the confidence and trust of the travel market.
Tourism Nerve Center
Moreover, as all stakeholders meet to discuss the recovery measures in tourism, Queblatin hopes that a unified body or a Tourism Nerve Center will be created to monitor the recovery efforts of the industry, enable data sharing to make informed decisions and communicate the different protocol and safety measures that have been adopted by various tourism destinations.
Queblatin also cited the need for the government to constantly review the travel restrictions with other countries as it gradually reopens the tourism industry.
“We are not in a haste to reopen (to international markets), but there is a need to constantly review our travel restrictions with other countries,” she said. (KOC)