‘All’s well’ with provincial tourism

VICE Gov. Agnes Magpale will not resign as chairperson of the Provincial Tourism Commission.

This, after Provincial Tourism Officer Boboi Costas apologized to her over disagreements over some tourism programs implemented by the Provincial Government.

Costas, in a separate interview, said he hopes that he and Magpale will continue to work to improve Cebu’s tourism programs.

“We decided to move forward and we keep our lines of communication open for the good of the Province of Cebu,” Costas told reporters yesterday.

Magpale told SunStar Cebu that Costas apologized to her during a meeting with tourism stakeholders at the Capitol yesterday morning.

Magpale admitted she and Costas didn’t agree on some programs he implemented, such as the “Big Five” tourism program and the publication of the “1521” magazine.

While Costas wanted to promote tourism potentials in Argao, Alcoy, Alegria, Aloguinsan and Boljoon, Magpale said she received complaints from other towns that were not included in the program.

Magpale also raised the matter of Costas’s “refusal” to tap Mice (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) tourism, which, she said, contributed to the rise in tourist arrivals over the past years.

During their meeting, Costas reportedly explained to Magpale that he was more focused on the project and didn’t realize the inner workings of government.

While Magpale admitted that Costas’ explanation didn’t fully convince her, she decided to accept his apology.

A day before their meeting, Costas sent an email to SunStar Cebu to explain his side on the issue.

In his statement, Costas explained that the Big 5 was just the start of a Province-wide tourism program that will showcase ecotourism and develop potentials of all municipalities in Cebu.

Costas said following the Big 5 launch last October, the Provincial Government will focus on northern Cebu and prepare the next batch of towns that have communities that “show commitment to learn more about eco-tourism and develop potential in their area.”

On 1521’s publication, Costas admitted that he committed an oversight when he failed to fully explain the layout decisions to Magpale.

“I’ve apologized to her for miscommunication and other shortcomings. If I had known the magazine’s format would cause trouble, I would have done the layout differently,” Costas said.
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