THE Cebu Provincial Tourism Office promised to highlight Cebu’s adventure tourism potentials this year, while also promoting a culture of safety within the industry.
Provincial Tourism Officer Joselito Costas, in an interview Friday, said that the Capitol will hype new destinations as they continue training local government units (LGUs) on sustainable tourism.
“There will be new destinations this year, local and community-based,” said Costas.
Specifically, he revealed that adventure tourism will take center stage, while they will also ensure the safety of tourists who buy adventure packages.
Road accidents involving tourists may negatively impact the safety aspect of Cebu’s tourism industry. Costas said a meeting involving the local stakeholders, LGUs and concerned government agencies will take place this month to discuss tourism safety.
Costas announced that the Province is also gearing up for Cebu’s important role in the 500th anniversary of Ferdinand Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe on March 16, 2021.
Costas said Cebu will be at the center of the celebration in Southeast Asia and that organizers have already met with Capitol officials to discuss the celebration.
He expects a surge in tourists coming to Cebu leading to the 2021 celebration.
Costas said they are working on improving the value chain of faith-based tourism in Cebu and on linking all the century-old churches and activities to come up with an attractive package.
“We expect more guests from European countries and Catholic countries. The celebration will also attract history buffs,” said Costas.
The 2021 celebration will open opportunities for guests to explore the province’s other tourism strengths such as in eco-tourism, adventure, culture and business.
According to the Pew Research Center, religious tourism comprises many facets of the travel industry: pilgrimages, missionary travel, leisure (fellowship) vacations, faith-based cruising, crusades, conventions and rallies, retreats, monastery visits and guest-stays, faith-based camps and religious tourist attractions.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said faith-based tourism has remained strong and grown steadily, despite economic ups and downs.
According to the UNWTO, an estimated 300 million to 330 million pilgrims visit the world’s key religious sites every year.
Religious travel is estimated at a value of $18 billion every year. In the US alone, some 25 percent of the traveling public is interested in faith-based tourism.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on February 20, 2018.
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