CORDOVA, a third-class municipality in Cebu, is a rising tourist destination with increasing investments in the sector.
Cordova Vice Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho said Cordova has attracted a number of foreign and local investors interested to buildup the town’s potential as the next tourism draw in the province.
“Although, tourism has the least budget. We are happy to say that we are one of those towns in Cebu that has high interest in tourism investments,” Cho said in an interview on Friday.
Currently the town has 17 tourism-related business establishments composed of hotels, restaurants, museum, sporting facility, dive shop, park and garden resorts excluding new investments that are under negotiations and construction.
“Tourism has already contributed 50 percent to the town’s annual income,” said Cho. She said partnerships with foreign investors like Koreans has helped raised the tourism income of the town.
She said the marine sanctuary operated by Koreans in Gilutongan Island pays the city P400,000 a month for the rent, a substantial increase from previous years’ income of less than P200 a month.
“They’re a big help because these investors handled everything from maintenance to marketing to countries like China, Japan and Korea,” said Cho.
Cordova’s latest tourism projects are the establishment of the town’s tourism center and Marine Culture Park, a joint venture (JV) project between the Cordova’s local government unit and Korean firm Cebu Cordova Golf Resort located in Brgy. Day-as.
The P30 million tourism project, which is currently under construction, is poised to become a facility that promotes experiential tourism and alternative livelihood to Cordova’s women community.
“It will have a souvenir shop that showcases the handcrafted items by the women here. The facility will also feature activities such as zipline, among others. It will also have a mangrove park,” said Cho.
This project is expected to generate at least 100 job opportunities. The Korean firm will manage and develop the Marine Culture Park, which is expected to be completed this year.
With the increasing investments in tourism, Cho said they might consider putting up tourism promotions board in the future with the town also aiming to be a first-class municipality.
Meanwhile, more investment opportunities await in Cordova with the 3,000 hectares of land that is up for reclamation.
Cho said big conglomerates have already expressed interests in building establishments in the area such as the 125 hectare resort project of the Gaisano Family (Vicsal); 1,500 hectares of the SM Group; and 75 hectare proposed IT Park of a Korean firm.
Cho believes the P17 billion third bridge project, which will be called Sto. Niño Bridge that will link the mainland Cebu and Mactan Island, is one factor that has boosted the investor’s interest in Cordova.
The project, which broke ground early this year, is a public-private partnership between Cordova and the City of Cebu with the MVP-led Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC).
The third bridge is set to connect the southern part of Cebu City to Mactan through Shell Island, which is part of Cordova.
Real estate players, on the other hand, have also expanded their housing projects in Cordova as it expects housing to go up on the back of the thriving business landscape.
However, amid all these interesting developments which are seen to upgrade the lives of the locals in Cordova, Cho said the town, which is composed of 13 barangays will continue to promote fishing, their main livelihood.
“We’ve got 3,000 fishermen here and we intend to keep fishing alive and promote this to younger generation,” she said.