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P2M RENOVATION

Talisay gasoline station turns ‘tourist friendly’

By: - Senior Reporter / @agarciayapCDN
/ 07:54 AM September 06, 2011

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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