Talisay gasoline station turns ‘tourist friendly’
A local Shell station operator gave his new gas station a P2 million facelift to make it a tourist-friendly stopover for south-bound Cebu travelers and tourists.
It has clean and comfortable restrooms and a lounge for group meetings.
As more independent oil companies set up outlets in Cebu, competition is not only about price wars but also about value-added propositions, said Rex G. Carampatan, owner of Amare Service Station along the South Road Property (SRP) in Lawaan, Talisay City.
“We took over the station in April this year and only started in July 1 after making some major renovations and adding facilities that will attract and give a different experience to our guests,” he said.
He said good services would be the defining factor in competition and would help boost Cebu’s tourism image as well.
“If we become creative, we can actually see opportunities in other industries like tourism where Cebu is rich,” he said.
The Shell station in Lawaan, Talisay City is along the route to south Cebu, which hosts several dive spots, beach resorts and old churches.
The lack of clean public restrooms along the way is a common lament of tour operators.
Carampatan’s gas station is an exception with its clean and safe toilets.
“The restrooms have books inside so that they can also read while using the room,” he said.
He said he already received good feedback about the restrooms from customers.
The gasoline station also has a function room that can accommodate 20 people. The room is equipped with a projector and Wi-Fi Internet service.
Motorist groups could use the room for club meetings, he suggested.
“We also have a coffee lounge with locally made furniture and a library where people can also rest while waiting for their vehicles during an oil-change,” he said.
He said he trained his staff is trained to receive and entertain customers like special guests.
“We serve welcome drinks to truck drivers, jeepney and v-hire drivers so that they can cool off from the heat,” he said.
“I think the gasoline stations should be more than just a place where you stop for gas. It should be a place where people stop for comfort, especially tourists who have a long ride ahead of them. It can also be an avenue to promote our local products like furniture,” he said.
Carampatan said he plans to meet with travel and tour operators to make the station a stopover on their trips to the south.
“We are the first among Shell operators in the country that’s offering these perks to customers and we hope to inspire others to do the same because it could help the tourism industry of Cebu,” he said.
Carampatan said he plans to open more “tourist-friendly” gasoline stations in south Cebu this year.
Fuel prices were still erratic this year, said Carampatan, and could swing high or low in a matter of days.
He said this underscores the important of adding more value to the service of gasoline stations, which have to compete with independent fuel companies which offer low prices.
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