‘Lapu wants to outdo Bali’-A A +A
Monday, September 24, 2012
AS PART of efforts to draw more tourists to the city, the Lapu-Lapu City Government tasked members of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) to research the culture of their barangays.
The City organized a workshop on cultural mapping for barangay and SK officials yesterday.
Mayor Paz Radaza said cultural mapping will help the City “develop new tourist attractions and promote (them) at the soonest time possible.”
During her State of the City Address last July, Radaza announced that the City will develop Olango Island as its “new tourism frontier.”
The City, she said, will develop Olango Island based on the principles of community-based tourism.
A home-stay program for tourists is one of the features of the City’s new eco-tourism project.
Locals will be trained in housekeeping and taught how to guide tourists.
Radaza urged SK members to promote the City’s new tourist attraction through social media.
Radaza noted that 60 percent of tourists in Cebu stay in Lapu-Lapu, as shown by figures from the Department of Tourism.
She said the City needs to catch up with other tourist destinations like Bali, Indonesia and Phuket, Thailand.
Citing figures presented by economist Fernando Fajardo in a recent tourism conference, Radaza said Bali and Phuket attracted 2.5 million and 1.6 million foreign tourists, respectively, in 2010.
That same year, Cebu only attracted 800,000 foreign visitors.
“While I am confident to say that Lapu-Lapu City’s tourism definitely contributes billions of pesos to Cebu GDP (Gross Domestic Product), data comparing us to Bali and Phuket would tell us that we have a lot of catching up to do,” Radaza said.
Aside from eco-tourism, Lapu-Lapu City is trying to build a reputation for hosting international sporting events.
Last month, it hosted the Cobra Ironman Triathlon, which drew more than 1,000 athletes from different parts of the world.
“Let us work hard, work fast and stay united as we focus to play catch-up with Bali and Phuket. Let us show the rest of Cebu that we can be the province’s best bet in tourism,” Radaza said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 24, 2012.