Countryside tourism is one of the main reasons for the development and growth of Cebu’s tourism industry.
This was emphasized by Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale during the recently concluded three-day Cebu tourism summit and travel fair dubbed as La Vida Local.
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Provincial Tourism Office headed by Joselito “Boboi” Costas hosted the annual tourism summit at the Northwing Atrium of SM City Cebu on Oct. 8 to 10.
Magpale, who is the co-chairman of the Cebu Provincial Tourism Council welcomed the guests and participants during the in-roads morning and afternoon talks held last Oct. 10.
The vice governor commended the PTO officials for holding the three-day activity, which was highlighted by the travel fair and exhibit participated in by 32 local government units of the province and seven green resorts.
Local products and attractions were showcased during the exhibit.
“The awareness/realization of the LGUs and other private stakeholders on the importance of travel and tourism as an economic tool keeps the industry vibrant and sustaining. Countryside tourism has been playing a vital role in the development and growth of Cebu’s tourism industry. The long journey/travel would not have made what Cebu is now without the cooperation and support of the LGUs,” said Magpale.
She said that Cebu continues to lure foreign and domestic visitors and investors not only because of the culture of professionalism and craftsmanship of the Cebuanos, but also because of Cebu’s gifts of nature and man-made wonders that have increasingly grown.
“The increasing number of arrivals of foreign and domestic tourists year after year, the numerous global recognition/awards heaped on Cebu through the past years, and the many big international conventions/conferences/summits held here, among others, all speak a thousand words about what Cebu is as a premier tourist destination in the country,” Magpale said.
During the in-roads talk, participants from various sectors were updated on Cebu’s traffic situation from Provincial Traffic Management focal person Jonathan Tumulak; and on the hotel industry from Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu president Carlo Suarez. They also got updates on tourism through Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 supervising tourism operations officer Judilyn Quiachon, and on the airport development from GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. chief executive adviser Andrew Harrison.
Former DOT secretary Dr. Mina Gabor, who is the founder of International School of Sustainable Tourism, talked about farm tourism, while Costas shared about culinary tourism.
Bernadette Jingco of Republic Polytechnic Singapore discussed about the Cebu’s need to have a Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Bureau.
Moderated talks were also conducted in the morning and afternoon sessions, hosted by Eileen Mangubat and Malou Guanzon-Apalisok, respectively.
Magpale believes that the sessions led by various expert resource speakers offered more relevant information to capacitate further and properly guide the LGUs and all tourism stakeholders in their journey to achieve sustainable tourism.
“I extend my special thanks to all LGUs, especially those who participate in this activity, for sharing the present administration’s ultimate vision nga mao ang tinuoray nga kalambuan sa Sugbo ug sa matag Sugboanon pinaagi sa malungtarong pagpalambo sa atong lokal nga turismo,” Magpale added. (Cebu Provincial Gov’t)