THE tourism recovery efforts in Central Visayas are once again challenged following the increasing Covid-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Stakeholders said they are monitoring developments in the NCR+ bubble, saying that there are other markets to target aside from the NCR.
Alfred Reyes, president of the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC), told SunStar Cebu they have yet to see any changes in the bookings made at the recent “I Love Cebu” sale.
“The online sale is open nationwide. There are other markets aside from Manila. We have yet to see reports of any slowdown (in the bookings),” he said.
Recently, the government’s Covid-19 task force placed the NCR and four provinces—Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal— under a stricter general community quarantine (GCQ) to control the surge of the Covid-19 cases. They will be placed on a two-week GCQ bubble from March 22 to April 4.
HRRAC has launched its biggest online travel sale, offering up to 70 percent off on accommodation and other tourism establishments.
The campaign dubbed “I Love Cebu” will run from March 21 to April 30, 2021. It hopes to attract local tourists from Luzon and other neighboring areas.
The Cebu Provincial Government has also launched on March 16 four new “Suroy-Suroy Sugbo” tour packages. The tourism booking portal for the tour packages opened on Monday, March 22.
The tour packages are Southern Adventure, Northern Escapade, Island Getaway for those wanting to visit the islands of Bantayan and Malapascua, and Staycation.
Each tour package will be good for four days and three nights including roundtrip airfare, local transfers, breakfast, lunch and accommodation.
Only essential travelers
Meanwhile, airlines Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific (CEB) both announced that they have already made the necessary adjustments to comply with the stricter guidelines.
“Due to the rising cases of Covid-19 in Metro Manila and adjacent provinces, the Philippine government, through the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has announced stricter guidelines beginning March 22, until April 4, 2021. During this time, only essential travel will be allowed,” the low-cost airline said.
CEB said passengers who wish to postpone their flights and those traveling for non-essential reasons may select their preferred option through the Manage Booking portal on the Cebu Pacific website (http://bit.ly/CEBmanageflight) up to two hours before their scheduled time of departure.
“We will provide updates on flights from March 25 to April 4 in the coming days as more information becomes available,” CEB said, adding that passengers may constantly check the airline’s social media platforms for updates.
PAL, on the other hand, said “it will only carry passengers traveling for non-leisure purposes between Manila and domestic stations within the said period.”
Essential travelers must present valid identification showing proof of residence, on top of other requirements of their respective local government units. (JOB)