Freeman Cebu Business

Water taxi proposals hit a snag

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Major resorts and hotels in the island of Mactan along with other capitalists are expressing intentions of providing more water taxis to help ease the worsening traffic problem between Cebu and Mactan.

Such proposal, however, hits a snag before it could even take off due to the poor docking areas.

“The problem is our docking areas. There’s no place to dock in Cebu,” said Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialists (CATOS) president Alice Queblatin.

Queblatin said there are already few resorts in Mactan as well as other transportation providers ready to invest on water taxis but such solution in mind could never take off if the government will not start fixing the docking areas.

Existing water taxis from Mactan, Queblatin said are having difficulties docking in Cebu ports, some water taxis have to wait for 45 minutes or so after they can disembark their passengers.

Department of Tourism (DOT-7) regional director Shalimar H. Tamano admitted that the worsening traffic problem in Cebu and Mactan is already affecting the tourism charm of Cebu.

Tamano, on the other hand, committed to bring the stakeholders appeal for the immediate fixing of ports to concerned government agencies.

“Docking facilities in Cebu is a problem,” Queblatin reiterated adding that while South Road Properties (SRP) has good docking area, security within the area is also another big concern.

She said tourists and customers are willing to pay for water taxis, even investors are also willing to add more water buses but Cebu has to improve its port infrastructure.

Cebu continues to attract more foreign tourists led by the Koreans, Chinese and Japanese. In fact, growth of Korean arrivals in 2018 in Central Visayas registered a 50 percent growth. (FREEMAN)




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