Visit southern Cebu, tourists told

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Thursday, December 5, 2013


WITH the decline in tourism in northern Cebu due to the devastation brought by super typhoon Yolanda, the Cebu Provincial Tourism Office recommends southern Cebu as alternative for tourists.

Cebu Provincial Tourism officer Mary Grace Paulino said the northern towns in Cebu, particularly Malapascua Island in Daanbantayan and Bantayan and Sta. Fe in Bantayan Island, are still being cleaned up and rebuilt, prompting the Capitol to highlight tourism areas in southern Cebu like Moalboal and Oslob.

The towns in northern and southern Cebu are popular for their world-class dive sites and white sand beaches.

“We are now promoting other destinations like the southern tour,” said Paulino.

She said 80 percent to 90 percent of tourism sites in northern Cebu were damaged.

Postponed not canceled

Four resorts out of 30 in Sta. Fe are now operating. Malapascua has 30 resorts and Bantayan has 35 accommodation establishments, but these are still under rehabilitation, Paulino said.

She said that guests who have booked in the resorts of northern Cebu have postponed, but not canceled, their visit.

They are targeting that by early next year, tourism establishments in these areas will resume operations.

Paulino said they are also promoting tourism destinations in Mactan Island as they were not damaged by the super typhoon.

Since most of the residents in these areas depend on tourism for livelihood, Paulino said they are looking into ways to restore their means of living.

She said they will be pushing for community-based tourism programs and will be conducting tourism value chain workshops to the residents.

DOT scheduled the training two weeks before the typhoon hit northern Cebu. The agency had to postpone it because of the storm.

Paulino said the training will push through next year.

Culture

“In the training, we teach them the culture of tourism...on how to maximize the potential of the community,” she said.

Daanbantayan municipal treasurer Eva de Leon said in a separate interview last week that the town will prioritize the rebuilding of livelihood of its residents.

De Leon said they will be providing fishing equipment to affected residents, particularly those whose main source of income is fishing. She said 70 percent of Daanbantayan residents are directly or indirectly dependent on fishing.

Governor Hilario Davide III earlier announced that a task force had been created to speed up the recovery of the agriculture sector in Bantayan Island.

Around 400 farmers were listed as among the initial batch who will benefit from privately-donated seeds and seedlings as the Cebu provincial government started efforts to rehabilitate the island’s damaged agriculture.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 06, 2013.

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