WITH the opening of the Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in June, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) pledged to work closely with the government and tourism organizations to power up Cebu’s tourism potential.
The chamber, according to its president Melanie Ng, will specifically work with the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 and industry associations like the Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialists (Catos) and Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu (HRRAC) to make sure Cebu can deliver the “best tourism experience” to both domestic and foreign visitors.
Ng said they expect tourism to push the province’s economic growth this year, as more infrastructure and tourism services will translate to more jobs for locals and increase in spending among guests.
“In a few month’s time, we will open the Terminal 2 of MCIA, which will give us the opportunity to showcase Cebu more to the world. We just want to make sure we are ready as a destination,” said Ng.
The chamber official stressed they are not only anticipating an influx of leisure tourists but also more meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition (Mice) activities to take place in Cebu starting this year.
“We are gearing up for more arrivals and the business opportunities that come with it. We need to build up our services to meet the expectations,” said Ng. “And collaborations with the local government units, the DOT, Catos and HRRAC will help realize this goal.” According to Ng, making sure that goals and initiatives of the private and public sectors are on the same page will strengthen Cebu’s economic muscle in the long term.
“We need to build our attractiveness as a destination and make sure there are more (direct flights) to come in,” said Ng.
HRRAC president Carlo Suarez, in a separate interview, likewise pledged to work closely with the DOT 7 to help the province achieve or even exceed its target arrivals for the year.
“There will be more work to do this year considering that Terminal 2 will open soon. We need to make sure we will be able to entice more markets to come to Cebu,” said Suarez.
He noted that their group will have a regular dialogue with the DOT 7 to be in sync with the government’s thrusts.
At present, MCIA is home to 23 airlines.
The National Economic Development Authority (Neda) 7 said the completion of MCIA Terminal 2 and the Panglao International Airport in Bohol are expected to boost the travel industry and have a positive impact on the tourism and allied industries.
“The region’s tourism industry will accelerate its growth momentum in 2018,” said Neda 7.