DEVELOP the natural tourism circuit in Cebu to improve its attractability to both international and domestic travelers.
This was what Undersecretary Art Boncato Jr., of tourism regulation, coordination and resource generation of the Department of Tourism (DOT) urged local government units during the Tourism Innovation Forum on June 18, 2019.
"We want to be sustainable in our efforts so we want to look for tourism circuits like what we have in southern Cebu. It is focused in heritage and culture and nature-based tourism," he said.
In a tourism circuit, sites and attractions are managed as well as there are available accommodations for the tourists.
"That circuit would have roads that would have an entry point like an airport or a seaport. And it will have specific sites and attractions and accomodations like restaurants and hotels," Boncato said.
Through this, investors would also be able to pinpoint on what area they can develop.
"If you identify a circuit, we would be able to spread the benefits of tourism growth in tourism business. Southern Cebu has a natural circuit and those areas already developed. If we continue to develop infrastructure and continue in investments and promotions, more and more players in the tourism industry would be there and that'll make the economy grow," he said.
Since 2012, the government has spent a total of P108 billion for infrastructure projects like roads that would lead to tourism sites.
For 2018, DOT also invested P18 billion and Boncato remained hopeful that the same funding will be provided for this year for them to complete the ongoing infra projects in the country.
In the National Tourism Development Plan 2016-2022, the DOT is targeting tourist arrivals at 12 million for international and 89.2 million for domestic travellers with expected receipts at P921 billion and P12.95 billion, respectively.
The tourism industry also generated 5.4 million jobs in the country based on statistics from 2013 to 2018.
Job generation in the tourism sector has been increasing since 2013 which 4.7 million to 5.2 million in 2016, 5.3 million in 2017 and 5.4 million in 2018. (SunStar Cebu)