SOME 800 participants on at least 11 buses are touring the northern towns and a city in Cebu Province during the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo Northern Escapade from Jan. 17 to 19, 2023.

Cebu Provincial Tourism Officer Marti Ybañez said of the 800 participants, 400 were balikbayans.

Around 100 foreign tourists coming from Europe, the United States of America, Korea and China are also among the participants of the tourism caravan.

Guests were treated to a gastronomic and scenic adventure on the first day of the tour Tuesday, Jan. 17, something they can also expect for the rest of the stops in their 14 town and one city escapade.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia led the caravan together with Department of Tourism Central Visayas Director Shahlimar Tamayo, tourism directors from other regions, and local officials.

The tour package rate per head ranged from P11,000 to P14,000 depending on the chosen type of accommodation by the participant, Ybañez said.

Ybañez said she did not expect the joiners for this year’s Northern Escapade to exceed their target number, which was 600.

The Suroy-Suroy Sugbo Northern Escapade covers the towns of Consolacion, Compostela, Carmen, Tabogon, Daanbantayan, Medellin, San Remigio, Santa Fe, Madridejos, Bantayan, Borbon, Sogod, Catmon, Liloan, and the City of Bogo.

The Suroy-Suroy Sugbo, a flagship tourism program of Garcia, has five tours — Southern Heritage Trail, Northern Escapade, Enchanting Camotes, Midwest trail, and Urban tour.

The Provincial Tourism Office is now preparing for the next caravan, which is the Enchanting Camotes, slated in April.

This tour will cover the caves and white sand beaches of the Camotes Islands.

The Suroy-Suroy Sugbo started in 2005.

The last Suroy-Suroy held before the tours were suspended due to the lockdowns imposed with the declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic, was the Northern Escapade in January 2020.

The Suroy-Suroy resumed in November 2022 with the Southern Heritage Trail, a tour of the southern part of Cebu. (with CTL)