Cebu News

‘Suroy Suroy’ to go nationwide by May

Robhe Jane C. Yara - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — One of the Department of Tourism's (DOT) flagship programs, "Suroy-Suroy Pilipinas: The Philippine Experience," is expected to kick off by May this year.

The national program replicated Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia's Suroy Suroy Sugbo launched in 2004, which aims to showcase Cebu's tourism, cultural sites, and towns and cities' delicacies and products.

Marti Ybanez, the Cebu Provincial Tourism Officer and among the lead officials of the program's task force, shared the news with The Freeman Thursday, March 9, though she said the date is still tentative.

In the task force's recent meeting, Ybanez said they discussed the initial checklists and necessities for the program's implementation, adding they will have another meeting sometime next week.

They also focused on conducting cultural mapping within destinations to identify their cultural heritage, delicacies, folk dances, cultural songs, and others needed for the tour packages.

At the time, Ybanez said the tour's launching would be per province, and among those sure to launch their respective Suroy-Suroy programs would be the provinces of Albay, Ilocos, and Davao City. Most did a benchmarking tour at the Capitol.

She said they set to conduct an ocular inspection on the areas mentioned.

"We are discussing unsaun ni like every province three LGUs ba or kaya bang five (included for the tour) kay unlike Cebu lagyo kaayu ang areas sa ubang provinces some would take eight hours from one province to another," said Ybanez.

(We are discussing how each province could have three LGUs or five because, unlike Cebu, some provinces are quite far from each other and in some cases it would take eight hours to travel from one province to another.)

Ybanez said that DOT Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco instructed to really have a Philippine tour, which would have a series of destinations nationwide in one package.

She said she is currently doing initial talks with some airline and shipping companies that will participate in the initiative.

Ybanez said the official itinerary for the first-ever leg of the Suroy-Suroy Pilipinas is already ready. She added Garcia-Frasco would announce it soon.

With the launching of the program, Ybanez said the DOT is looking forward to doubling the country's tourist arrivals for 2023.

In 2022, the agency reported that it recorded around 2.6 million tourist arrivals, a much better figure than in 2021 where they only logged 0.16 million due to the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic. — JMD (FREEMAN)

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