Monday, June 14, 2021

Lapu-Lapu eyes travel bubble with South Korea

LINKING DESTINATIONS. Photo shows Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu, one of the resorts located in Mactan Island. A travel bubble between Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines and Incheon City, South Korea is being eyed by the Lapu-Lapu City Government as its first step to rebuild Mactan Island’s tourism sector. (SunStar file)

THE Lapu-Lapu City Government is endorsing a travel bubble between Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu and Incheon, South Korea to help revive the once-robust tourism industry of Mactan island.

Lapu-Lapu City First Lady Cindi King-Chan, in an exclusive interview in SunStar Tonight, said they are lobbying to the government’s Covid-19 task force and to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to open a travel corridor between Lapu-Lapu City and South Korea.

Chan said the local government is not only working on attracting domestic tourists but it is also eyeing the return of the foreign tourism market to happen soon.

“What we are lobbying for right now and what we have endorsed to the DILG or Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is for a travel corridor that is being requested by the Philippine Airlines,” she said.

“It’s a special flight from Incheon, South Korea to Lapu-Lapu City. It’s a very controlled itinerary, and the tourists are confined here in Lapu-Lapu City. We have to come up with activities for them that will cover about three to four days. I think we have enough resorts and activities that can fill up their stay,” Chan added.

Chan said they hope to get the approval this month.

“We are just waiting for the endorsement of the IATF or the DILG,” she said.

South Korea has been a consistent top tourism market of Central Visayas with visitor arrivals at 1,579,189 in 2019.

Last year, Lapu-Lapu City welcomed 1,460,163 foreign tourists and 372,892 domestic tourists.

Creating a travel bubble involves reconnecting destinations that have shown a good level of success in containing the novel coronavirus pandemic. This is a scheme meant to jumpstart the recovery in tourism by linking two safe places for tourists to enjoy and discover.

With a bleeding local economy, the government has been working on different initiatives to spur domestic tourism to somehow sustain tourism businesses. (JOB)


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