Cebu City eyes new tourism products to attract more visitors

By Carlo Lorenciana

CEBU CITY – The Cebu City Tourism Commission (CCTC) here has bared plans to offer new tourism products to travelers visiting the provincial capital.

CCTC chairperson Jocelyn Pesquera on Wednesday said they will be developing coastal tours in the city, which is hoped to become a new tourist draw as the industry eventually recovers next year.

CCTC is looking to take advantage of the city’s long coastline stretching from the South Road Properties, which is seeing rapid commercial developments, to the city’s ports in the downtown areas.

This also bodes well for the redevelopment project for the Carbon Public Market, which could soon become a new tourist attraction in the city’s downtown.

Development works for the coastline tour project are expected to take off in 2021, Pesquera said in a statement.

Further developing mountain tours will be also prioritized, she said, to offer tourists more outdoor experiences.

In recent years, the city had seen the rise of farm tourism sites in the mountain barangays that give travelers an escape from the bustling city life.

Pesquera also revealed that they plan to expand tour routes that would explore the city’s historical connections to the American and Japanese era.

“We’re not limiting our tour routes to the Spanish era. We have structures here that trace back to the American and Japanese era. We just need to develop this with the help of the creative industry,” she said.

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Meanwhile, CCTC commissioner Butch Carungay emphasized the contribution the creative sector can bring to tourism.

He added that the creative community will be closely working with the tourism industry on how they can further collaborate.

Carungay is among those in the private sector who, together with the Department of Trade and Industry in Central Visayas, had worked hard for the designation of Cebu City as a creative city.

He said CCTC is now exploring the prospect of experiential creative tourism in Cebu City, to diversity from the traditional mass cultural tourism, which mostly involves tangible heritage sites.

While there aren’t concrete plans yet, Carungay noted they are working to “get this moving forward.”

Part of the plan, he said, is to create tours that allow tourists to discover and develop their own creative potential; and give more flexible and authentic experiences which can be co-created between the host and the tourist.

“We just need to unlock synergies from, already, the intertwined sectors,” he said.

Carungay said the city has to take advantage of its designation as a Creative City by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to further its tourism appeal.

The city’s vibrant creative scene is already given, and it’s just a matter of bringing this to its good advantage by integrating it into the tourism sector, he pointed out. (PNA)

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