Freeman Cebu Business

Cebu eyed to spearhead revival of golf tourism

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) has eyed Cebu to lead the revival of Golf Tourism promotion in the Philippines.

Lyle Fernando Uy, DOT Office of Product Development of Golf Tourism and Special Projects Director, made this pronouncement following the successful three-day Cebu Swing: Golf Tourism Playing Familiarization Tour.

“The event was a remarkable success, seamlessly blending the beauty of Cebu’s golf courses with its vibrant culture and hospitable atmosphere,” Uy said.

According to Gelena Asis-Dimpas, DOT-Central Visayas chief tourism operations officer, it has been quite a long-drawn-out rebirth of golf tourism.

While the revival took a while after the COVID-19 pandemic, Dimpas said “it’s a sure and steady reboot.”

Designed as friendly rounds of 18 holes per course, Cebu Swing attracted over 40 golf enthusiasts from Luzon and Central Visayas to play at the historic Club Filipino de Cebu, Inc. in Danao City, Alta Vista Golf and Country Club in Pardo, Cebu City and the Liloan Golf and Leisure Estate.

The players covered one course before midday and explored nature, culture and heritage sites, went shopping or enjoyed the province’s dining and entertainment centers in the afternoons.

The group also visited the golf courses of Medellin, which is emerging as another premier golf tourism hub in the province.

“The tour’s triumph has paved the way for future collaborations and partnerships,” he said recommending that the Cebu model be replicated across domestic and international destinations.

The players, who included Batangas Vice-Governor Mark Leviste, gave positive reviews of the experience, as recorded through the digital surveys they completed daily. The results of the surveys will inform a long-term strategic plan for golf tourism.

Cebu Swing served as the “showcase of what Cebu is offering to golfers and their families and opens another season of golfing events in Cebu,” she says.

The playing tour was organized by the DOT Product Development of Golf Tourism and Special Projects Office, in coordination with the DOT7, Province of Cebu, local government units and golf clubs.

The tour is the final activity in a series, which included a familiarization trip for tour operators in December 2023.

In November last year, DOT secretary Christina Frasco highlighted the potential of golf tourism to boost the Philippine tourism as the country has more than 100 golf courses in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

“Golf tourism represents a promising frontier for the Philippines and this summit highlights our proactive approach in understanding, nurturing, listening to the golf tourism industry and developing this niche as part of our tourism industry portfolio,” Frasco said.

It is also seen to contribute billions to the economy and help place the Philippines as a “global hub for sports tourism.

The tourism chief said that it is about time for the government and the private sector to work together to tap the full potential of golf tourism.

Likewise, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia announced earlier her plan to highlight golf competition as among Suroy-Suroy sa Sugbo’s tourism flagship activities.

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