Durano: Cebu should expand tourist marketCebu Daily News
Cebu has to diversify its market in order to topple Camarines Sur as the country’s top tourist destination, former tourism secretary Joseph “Ace” Durano said yesterday.
Durano said Cebu shouldn’t rely on its usual Korean and Japanese markets and must lure neighboring Southeast Asian nations too.
“These new markets haven’t grown. For the tourism of Cebu to further grow, we need to find a new market,” Durano said.
China is a big potential market, but strained relations between the two countries make it difficult to attract Chinese visitors.
“We could still look at others like the Southeast Asian countries. There could also be a European market which is still growing. A new market – that’ s what Cebu needs,” the former tourism secretary said.
During Durano’s tenure as tourism secretary, Cebu was the country’s no. 1 destination in 2009 with 1.6 million visitors followed by Camarines Sur with 1.56 million and Metro Manila with 1.44 million based on DOT figures.
But recent data from the National Statistical Coordination Board showed that Camarines Sur which developed itself as a water sports adventure spot, overtook Metro Manila and Cebu as the top tourism destination with 2.33 million tourists in 2010. Cebu slid down to the third spot with 1.7 million visitors.
Durano, however, said the province has developed in terms of providing new hotels and resorts and will always have its “own kind of charm”.
He said emerging eco-adventure and sports tourism activities in Cebu will also boost its appeal to domestic and foreign visitors.
“Even sports like our marathons. This August, we will have the Iron Man event. Those kinds of activities will also help,” Durano said. Correspondent Peter L. Romanillos