CEBU Province and the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) wallowed in praises recently as both went up in ranking in reviews by travellers. Conde Nast Traveler listed Cebu as the fifth best island in the world outside the United States, up from its rank of 19th last year. The website The Guide to Sleeping in Airports (sleepinginairports.net), meanwhile, listed the MCIA as the 14th best airport in Asia, up from 18th last year.
The caption accompanying the photo of Cebu in the Conde Nast website described the island as “the most densely populated” in the Philippines and “famous for its beaches on the mainland as well as across many of the surrounding islands.” It is further described as, “not as wild as Phuket” in Thailand but is “more personal, with plenty of up-and-coming restaurants and shopping.” Getting special mention is the Camotes group of islands.
There is not much information about the MCIA review by The Guide to Sleeping in Airports because the focus is on those in the top 10. But the survey listed the following factors: comfort (rest zones and gate seating); services, facilities and things to do; food options; immigration/security; customer service; and cleanliness. So those who took the survey must have rated the MCIA higher in terms of those factors than, say, Clark International Airport in Pampanga.
But reviews are merely meant to assess the level reached by the areas and facilities being surveyed. And it is not static. One goes up in the ranking or goes down depending upon one's efforts to meet the travelers' criteria for a certain period. There is no reason, therefore, to be too ecstatic that one ends up, to use a cliché, resting on one's laurels.
We all know, for example, that Cebu as a tourist destination needs improvement especially in facilities and infrastructure. Conde Nast, for example, warns travelers that no ATM machine is available in the Camotes group of islands. Cebu Provincial Tourism Officer Joselito Costas talked about overhauling visitor facilities in the towns, putting up clean toilets, etc.
Unlike in the MCIA, however, where the improvements are already programmed, those for Cebu Province are still in the realm of talk. Let us see how the effort to improve would play out in the coming months.