Cebu eyed as model for PH tourism plan

·2 min read

THE Department of Tourism (DOT) of the incoming administration is eyeing to introduce to the whole country a successful tourism practice in the province of Cebu.

“Cebu has shown the benchmark for the effectiveness of tourism governance, including Suroy-Suroy Sugbo,” Liloan Mayor and incoming Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco said during an event at the Capitol Wednesday night, June 22, celebrating the proud heritage of Cebu tourism.

“So this is certainly something that’s worth emulating and replicating throughout the country. We will study it closely in the hopes of bringing attention to lesser-known tourist destinations in the Philippines,” she said.

Suroy-Suroy Sugbo is a tourism initiative introduced by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, the mayor’s mother, wherein local and foreign tourists are literally brought to obscure tourist attractions in the province for them to discover the beauty and wonders in Cebu.

The regional office of DOT, headed by director Shalimar Tamano, gathered together tourism stakeholders in the province—from travel and tour operators, hotel and resort owners, airport authorities, consuls and government officials—to welcome Garcia-Frasco and show support to her as the new tourism chief.

Garcia-Frasco said that one of her priorities for the industry would be infrastructure development to enhance connectivity to the country’s tourist destinations as well as preserve heritage and environmental sites.

She also noted the need to implement socioeconomic programs to protect the interest of tourism stakeholders and ensure the industry’s long-term stability.

The government, she added, must also provide socioeconomic protection for tourism stakeholders especially with the economic impact of the pandemic that resulted in job and income losses.

The new tourism chief said the collaboration of both public and private sectors is essential to revitalize the tourism industry and harness potential tourism destinations in the future.

“Since we all envision the long-term success of the tourism industry, sustainable tourism development paired with effective local governance and strong national government coordination spells the way forward,” Garcia-Frasco said.

She said the goal is to improve the overall tourism experience for both domestic and foreign tourists so that “they will not only enjoy the idea of the brand that is the Philippines but keep buying into the product that is our beautiful country and the work of our people.”

“Daghan gyud kaayo og mga nindot nga tourist destinations ang tibuok Pilipinas. And each of these destinations deserves equal attention, promotion, and assistance by the national government. As secretary of tourism, I would be very happy to collaborate with our local officials, governors, congressmen, and mayors to be able to see how we in the Department of Tourism can lend our assistance to further develop these tourist destinations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,” she said.

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