Cebu’s tour operators, guides need fundS to conduct site assessment

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TOUR guides and operators in Cebu are seeking government funding so they could conduct product assessment or ocular inspections on tourist sites that are ready to be marketed to tourists.

Alice Queblatin, president of the Cebu Association of Tour Operators Specialists, said this is their way of helping Cebu’s tourism sector rise once again from the wrath of Typhoon Odette (Rai) on December 16, 2021.

“We are ready to put in a package, but we need to make an assessment of the tour sites and activities first that are doable or regular packages that are ready to be marketed,” said Queblatin in a recent tourism consultation for all stakeholders in Central Visayas.

Queblatin said there were 172 tour guides who were affected by Tyhoon Odette.

According to the partial report of the Department of Tourism 7, estimated damage to tourist sites reached P9.9 million as of January 14, 2022. Damage to Central Visayas’ tourism industry was pegged at P2.5 billion.

Queblatin said they could come up with a culinary road trip, for example, but they needed to identify which towns in the region have culinary interests. They could also come up with a pilgrimage tour, highlighting religious sites.

“We will need to focus on the packages that we think will sell and based also on the inquiries we’ve gathered from our markets,” she said.

The Catos official noted that there is a big interest among tourist groups about Cebu and Central Visayas being marketed as one tourism package.

The Cebu Association of Tour Guides also expressed its support for Catos’ proposal on mounting ocular trips in the province’s tourist sites.

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