123 tourism businesses reopen
A banca is anchored near a floating restaurant that used to draw tourists in the town of Cordova. Tourist destinations across Cebu province have been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aldo Nelbert Banaynal
123 tourism businesses reopen
Mae Fhel K. Gom-os (The Freeman) - October 23, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — A total of 123 tourism establishments in Cebu Province are now allowed to resume their operations following the issuance of certificate of compliance (COC) by the Provincial Tourism Task Force (PTTF).

In a report of Sugbo News, the Capitol news website, it said that these tourism establishments have been operating since September while the province was placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

These establishments have complied with the requirements stated in the Executive Order No. 20-A issued by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on the protocols and guidelines as the province revives its tourism industry.

According to Provincial Tourism Office chief Maria Lester Ybañez, before they issued COCs, these establishments were personally inspected by the members of the PTTF to assess whether they complied with the requirements such as the use of air purifiers, ultraviolet germicidal lights, and other health requirements.

Aside from hotels, beaches, and mountain resorts, the task force is also inspecting restaurants and other tourist spots.

As for motorized boats or water transport, they must secure an accreditation from the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) or Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) before they will be issued a COC by the PTTF.

Ybañez added that they are still accepting applications for the issuance of COC.

Cebu and the Visayas were recognized as the top island destinations in Asia in the CNTraveler’s 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards published by Conde´ Nast.

The CNTraveler featured various destinations in Cebu such as its pristine beaches, diving sites, the Kawasan Falls in Badian, as among the popular tourist destinations.

Boosting Efforts

Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, Secretary Michael Dino, said the recent recognition will boost efforts to convince tourists to travel to the various tourist destinations here.

The Office of the Presidential Assistant fort the Visayas in a statement quoted the CNT article which said that Cebu draws nearly two million travelers annually for its pristine beaches and diving off the island’s northern coast.

It added that the Spanish and Roman Catholic influences permeate Cebu City, citing the Basilica Minore del Santo Nin~o which houses a small statue of Christ that was presented by Ferdinand Magellan.

“Cebu has given us plenty of recognition not just in Asia but all around the world. However, there are many more tourism sites that they can visit in the Visayas,” Dino said.

Boracay, a consistent top tourist destination, is now open to local tourists as well as in most areas in Cebu.

“I hope other areas in the Visayas, especially major tourist destinations such as Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, will slowly open again to international tourists,” said Dino.

He further said that the recovery of tourism sector will benefit not only the hotels, resorts and restaurants but also the micro, small and medium enterprises providing support services such as the sea and land transportation firms.

Dino added that the recovery of the tourism sector will also have major impact on the agriculture sector since the demand for their product will increase once tourists return. — Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, GMR (FREEMAN)

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