The dynamic celebration of Sinulog has proven to be a huge tourism booster for Cebu. During the Mardi Gras celebration, the city is jam-packed with tourists from within and out of the country to witness and pay their homage to the celebrated Sr. Sto. Niño. But these tourists often end their exploration of Cebu after the merriment and excitement on the weekend of the third Sunday of January.
It is up to the local tourism industry to show to tourists that there is a lot more to Cebu than the Mardi Gras and that these attractions are scattered all over the province. Cebu has to grab the opportunity to entice these tourists to stay a little longer in the province and enjoy what Cebu has to offer after the joyous Sinulog celebration. This is why there has to be new provisions on tour packages, according to the Cebu Association of Tour Operations Specialists (CATOS).
CATOS head Alice Queblatin said the Sinulog is the perfect opening to introduce tourists to what Cebu can offer, especially the latest attractions. She pointed out how Cebu should make up for its reputation as one of the provinces with worsening traffic woes.
A lot of tour packages are now being offered and among the province’s latest innovations is the new seaplane terminal.
The Sinulog celebration is mostly concentrated in the city of Cebu, but the areas in the southern part of Cebu are definitely worth exploring. And it is now possible with Suroy-suroy sa Sugbo,
Program, which will be held from January 24 to 26.
Queblatin told the local media that CATOS would be offering something fresh in this year’s Suroy-Suroy Sugbo program, referring to the heightened focus on the adventure trail, which has been proven to be in demand among the millennials.
The attractions named by the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo program are the canyoneering at Kawasan Falls in Badian, whale shark watching in Oslob town, Moalboal island hopping, and Pescador Island sardine run.
Aside from the adventure tour, Queblatin also said that CATOS is eyeing the possibility of launching a food trip tour to put the limelight on Cebu’s food offerings and delicacies.
There have been schemes to establish a shopping tour package, too, which aims to bring focus on Cebuano handicraft.
Just recently, the Cebu Safari and Adventure Park opened a few dates in January for group reservation. The safari’s administration has earlier said that while the park is not yet fully available to the public, it will likely open before summer vacation starts.
Air Juan, a seaplane operator, is set to launch its services in Cebu in the first quarter of 2018. It is also eyeing an opening for its seaplane terminal at the South Road Properties (SRP). Routes will be plotted to get passengers to areas with no air strips or runways, such as Camotes Island, Panglao Island and Candijay in Bohol, Kandaysa Resort, and Malapascua Island.
Air Juan marketing head Paolo Misa said this venture will likely be put to test this Holy Week so operations are eyed to commence by late March this year.
The launching of this aviation venture will show tourists a better image of Cebu’s tourism sector, said Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said during a press briefing on January 18. He emphasized how fast it will be to move from one island to the next if seaplanes are used.
Cebu’s tourism industry hopes that these major developments will be more than enough to convince tourists to stay a bit longer in Cebu and help the province hold on to its top spot as a tourist destination in Central Visayas. Imagine how much tourism revenue it would be bring if Cebu can convince majority of the estimated 2 million Sinulog crowd to tour around the rest of Cebu for a few more days, or even longer!