Expo to make Cebu ‘leader in maritime tourism’

Expo to make Cebu ‘leader in maritime tourism’
Photo by Yans Baroy

AT LEAST 40 exhibitors are expected to participate in the second Cebu Maritime Expo and Boat Show (CME) scheduled this month.

Anchored on the theme, “Cebu Maritime Expo 2024: From Tourism, Promoting Safety To Innovations: The Philippine Maritime Landscape,” the event is slated from April 18 to 20, 2024, at the SM Seaside City Cebu. It aims to further enhance Cebu’s position as a leader in maritime tourism in the country.

The CME event is hosted in collaboration with the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (Soname) and the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina). It also aims to draw at least 3,000 guests.

According to Frances Gatungay, managing proprietor of Full-Force MarketStrat Gateway, CME 2024 aligns with Cebu’s roadmap for maritime primacy, aiming to generate economic benefits through maritime tourism, stimulate interest and attract investments.

The expo aims to revitalize Cebu’s local boating industry through sustainable tourism and best practices, leveraging the presence of leading shipbuilding firms in the province.

Marina 7 Director Annabelle Lagas said the event is a great opportunity to showcase the modernized boats produced in Cebu that are being used as recreational boats in tourism.

Lagas noted that Marina has been encouraging boat operators and owners, especially motor bancas, to modernize their boats for safety and security.

“With this expo, we can show to the public the different types of boats that can be used in tourism,” she said, adding that despite the modernity, the Marina wants to keep the style of motor bancas as they are popular among foreign tourists.

Service limit

The Marina’s shipping modernization plan limits the service life of vessels to up to 30 years. It announced a maximum age for steel ships of 30 years; wooden-hulled ships of 20 years; and motor bancas of five years.

If found to be non-compliant, the Marina said unclassed ships of excess age shall be automatically delisted from the Philippine registry. The operators of ships that have reached the maximum allowable age shall have the option to have their ships classed, replaced with classed ships, or retired without any replacement.


Meanwhile, Soname president Raymund Christopher Puso emphasized the significance of the CME event as a pivotal platform for fostering collaboration and networking among diverse sectors within the maritime industry.

Through the event, Puso said Soname is raising funds for its scholarship program for future maritime professionals. The funds raised will support the group’s dedication to advancing education and research in the maritime field.

Soname is composed of Filipino naval architects, marine engineers and shipping and shipbuilding professionals.

In terms of increased business activity and investment, Soname secretary Doyle Figueras said the event hopes to attract more investors to place their boat orders in Cebu.

Cebu has long been recognized as the country’s shipbuilding capital with the shipbuilding industry propelling economic growth in the towns in midwest Cebu and other neighboring areas.

Tsuneishi Heavy Industries Cebu, for instance, has already built 352 ships since it started in 1993 in Balamban, Cebu.

According to Aboitiz InfraCapital Economic Estates, Tsuneishi already launched three vessels this year with 18 more on the horizon before 2024 closes. / KOC


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