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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Chamber upgrades ‘Suroy’

BEFORE they could begin promotions, organizers of the first Technotour Amazing Adventure Challenge (TAAC) surprised themselves when reservations began piling up, mostly from companies planning to turn the experiential tourism event into their company team-building activity.

The TAAC is one of the main activities for Cebu Business Month held each June and aims to bring the original Suroy-Suroy Sugbo to a higher level by making it more participatory.

Rather than just touring the countryside, participants will use their smartphones or tablets to follow a set of tasks that are encoded in an app, which they will download at the start of the event. The tasks are aimed at promoting the tourism sites, products and culture of participating municipalities and cities.

These include preparing a local delicacy or locating a historical site. A team has to complete a task before moving on to the next destination. Using the app also allows game marshals to monitor the progress of the teams.

Organizers described the experience as a combination of the hit reality show “The Amazing Race” and the destinations of the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo.

Slots for 20 teams still open

“Everyone knows that the Suroy-Suroy is the brainchild of the CCCI (Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry). We are taking that to the next level, making it more fun,” said CBM tourism chairperson Cenelyn Manguilimotan.

Although the TAAC is set on June 16 to 18 yet, there are only slots for 20 teams left. Organizers are limiting the event to 50 teams of four to make sure there are enough rooms to accommodate them and the challenge organizers for the three days and two nights.

CBM overall chairperson Francis Dy said many companies have reserved several slots so they could send their employees on a team-building activity.

Dy believes it is an excellent alternative, as each team of four will pay P20,000 to participate, and that already covers meals, accommodations, race jersey and free stuff from sponsors. He added that one company had been planning to book rooms in Boracay but changed their plans to participate in the TAAC.

Since it is the first time they will be holding it, Dy admits he anticipates some kinks during the event.

But with the positive feedback they have been getting from tour operators and the interest they have received from the public in general, he is optimistic that they can hold another TAAC covering another part of Cebu. They will hold a final simulation of the activities just to anticipate what it would be like during the event.

The TAAC covers 27 towns and cities in the southern and midwest Cebu, starting and ending in Cebu City. One night will be spent in Dalaguete while the second night will be in Moalboal.

Municipal and tourism officers have been tasked to think of tourism products they want to promote in their localities so that they could decide what kind of activity the contestants can participate in.

The top three teams to finish first will be given prizes worth P50,000, P30,000 and P20,000, although Dy noted that those who signed up were not in it for the prizes but for the experience.

Manguilimotan hopes the TAAC will become a regular tourism product for Cebu. “We want to show that Cebu is not just Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Cebu City. We have a lot to offer in the countryside,” she said.

Manguilimotan and Dy led the signing of an agreement yesterday with officers of participating municipalities and cities.

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