Cebu, Jeju eye direct flight

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Cebu Province.File photo

CEBU and Jeju Island in South Korea will soon have a direct flight following a deal inked by the Cebu Provincial Government and the Jeju Province Government to boost trade and tourism for both islands.

On Friday, June 14, 2024, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the two island provinces represented by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Jeju Province Gov. Oh Young-Hun. The signing ceremony was live-streamed on Capitol’s online media platform.

Both parties were enthusiastic about the possibility of opening a direct flight route between the island provinces and establishing business partnerships between their chambers of commerce.

“We will begin our cooperation starting with tourism, including the establishment of direct flights; but in the long term, we need to expand the cooperation through the exchange of our younger generations,” Oh said through an interpreter.

“We believe that this will further revitalize the tourism exchange between our regions and also the cultural exchanges as another area for potential cooperation.”

Oh’s visit to the Philippines, including Cebu, was his first.

Garcia, on the other hand, stressed the importance of connectivity and accessibility for tourism exchange after learning that Oh had multiple connecting flights from Jeju Island to Incheon to Manila to reach Cebu.

The lady governor, who also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), assured that she could facilitate the proposed direct route on Cebu’s end.

Garcia hinted at creating a tour package to Jeju Island for newly married Cebuano couples, while Oh promised to bring tourists from Jeju to Cebu.

Oh said Cebu and Jeju are the premier tourist destinations of each country. Jeju Island has been known as the honeymoon destination for newly married couples in South Korea while Cebu has been regarded as one of the top wedding destinations in Asia.

Aside from direct flights, the MOU also covered collaborations in various areas such as economy, trade, agriculture, fisheries and livestock.

Besides government officials, Jeju delegation is also composed of officers of Jeju Tourism Association as well as the Jeju Business Agency.

According to Capitol’s media portal, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, through Melanie Ng, area vice president for Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Visayas, expressed their desire to sign business-to-business agreements with Jeju’s business community.

Oh was welcomed by Garcia, along with Consul General Song Sewon of South Korea, Tourism Undersecretary Shalimar Tamano, Provincial Board member Ferdinand Jumapao, mayors from various towns and component cities, and the business community. / EHP

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