GP Lines revives Cebu-Lazi route
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - March 22, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Shipping firm George & Peter (GP) Lines Inc. looks to boost the inbound tourism in Siquijor as it revives a route from Cebu to Lazi.

John Paul Chiongbian, vice president for sales and marketing, said the company has started plying the said route once a week, including a connecting route from Lazi to Plaridel in Misamis Occidental.

Initially, the Cebu-Lazi route leaves every Friday at 10 p.m.-5 a.m.

From Lazi, GP’s M/V Georich leaves at 7 a.m. on Saturday to arrive at 11 a.m. in Plaridel.

On the same day, the passenger ship leaves the Mindanao town at 4 p.m. to get back to Lazi at 8 p.m. for its connecting route back to Cebu from 11 p.m.-6 a.m. on Sunday.

Chiongbian said they’re eyeing to move the return route to Cebu to Monday to give travelers more time to enjoy their weekend vacation in Lazi and Plaridel.

The frequency, he said, will also soon be increased to twice to thrice a week once the demand builds up, citing plans to acquire two more vessels this year.

Currently, GP Lines has three vessels in its fleet: two RoRo vessels and one conventional ship.

“We are planning to expand and reinforce our new routes by acquiring more vessels this year,” the official said in an interview with The FREEMAN on Wednesday.

He noted the new route from Cebu to Lazi is seen to increase the inbound tourism in Siquijor, which has been attracting both local and foreign tourists.

“Aside from passenger traffic, we also open trading and job opportunities between Cebu and Siquijor,” he said.

The Cebu-based shipping company has also been serving routes to Dumaguete, Dapitan and Zamboanga.

“We really want to promote tourism in those islands,” he said.

Chiongbian believes demand for sea travel remains robust despite the entry of low-cost airlines.

The local shipping industry has continued to see positive business prospects despite rising competition from low-cost carriers.

He said traveling by sea is still way cheaper than flying an airline.

Many budget-conscious passengers would still prefer to travel by sea, a trend that has been prevalent for many years now.

Thus, sea transport is expected to continue to be one of the primary means of inter-island transport in the Philippines.  

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