To cushion the impact of the coronavirus disease or Covid-9 to Cebu's economy, the Province of Cebu takes the lead in a multi-stakeholder tourism campaign dubbed "Suroy-Suroy Alang sa Sugbo."
In a meeting held Saturday, March 7 at the Cebu Capitol, various stakeholders in the tourism industry in Cebu pinched in and agreed to join hands for a Cebu-wide tourism extravaganza that will offer cheaper rates to services and products that are found in Metro Cebu.
Specifically, hotels, resorts, restaurants, malls, retailers and tour operators and transport tourism operators in the urban areas agreed to offer cheaper and affordable rates "that are more than the existing discounted rates" so as to attract domestic tourists from the countryside.
While the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo brings guests to the countryside, this is the reverse because this will give a chance for people from the countryside to have a taste of the luxury hotels and resorts and other services that urban areas in Cebu offer.
"We all know that you are all affected and we are gathered here because we are doing our all out effort as Cebuanos to address the economic impact of Covid 19," Garcia said.
Department of Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary and concurrent Central Visayas Director Asteria Caberte hailed Garcia for the initiative and for gathering all tourism stakeholders including concerned government agencies like the Department of Health, DTI, Department of Tourism, Air Transportation Office, as well as the business sector.
Those who attended include the chambers of Cebu, Mandaue and the Cebu-Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Organizations of tour drivers and operators, tour operators transport, independent travel agents, the Philippine Retailers Association, mall retailers, and Cebu's major mall operators were present as well.
The "Suroy Suroy alang sa Sugbo" is a take off concept of the Province' Suroy Suroy sa Sugbo where guests are given a tour of Cebu's countryside.
However, in this campaign, the centerpiece will be Cebu's high-end hotels and resorts, malls, theme parks, food and manufacturing industries, among others, with Cebuanos coming from the 44 towns and seven component cities of Cebu province as target market.
The League of Municipalities in the Philippines Cebu president Liloan Mayor Christina Frasco welcomed the initiative for there is now a shift in perspective for domestic tourism.
Frasco assured active participation of all towns in Cebu under her tutelage.
While details of the campaign are being finalized, Garcia had tasked the participants to form into sectoral groups to iron out each of their concerns.
Issues raised that will have to be resolved yet include package rates for hotel and resort accomodation, rental rates for retailers, transportation fee, among others.
The Suroy Suroy alang sa Sugbo will be launched on March 20, 2020.
A roadshow will be held the following day starting at Liloan town. (Vanessa L. Almeda)