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Updates on Tourism and Economy in Cebu After the Outbreak

The pandemic has hit Cebu. This is how.

By: Yoorekka Team | May 29, 2020

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Tourist Spots in Cebu, Cebu, pandemic, Outbreak, COVID-19, community quarantine, Cebu’s Tourism

Cebu’s diverse offerings like canyoneering and whale shark diving have been put to halt due to the pandemic.


The novel coronavirus outbreak made a great impact on tourism and travel behavior in the country. The rate of flight bookings went down, low occupancy was reported in hotels, and tourism activities closed since the outbreak. The Queen City of the South and tourist spots in Cebu, which is considered as the bread and butter of Central Visayas’ tourism industry, have also suffered from the pandemic.

Although the Queen City of the South has recorded 2,013 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of May 27, 2020, it also had a record-breaking recovery report of 164 in one day [1]. Cebuanos are doing their part to prevent the spread by staying at home and following protocols in public places while the community quarantine is yet to be lifted. Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism is already making plans to reawaken the sector and to make tourist spots in Cebu enticing once again.

BPO companies, health workers, and OFWs occupy hotels

While hotels have not bee open for leisure travelers, some rooms didn’t remain empty. These were occupied by Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and telecommunication employees who were still required to report to work. Repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were also accommodated. In addition to these groups, health workers were also temporarily housed in hotels to keep them isolated from their families. However, despite these, 6,286 hotel rooms out of 10,600 in Central Visayas have remained unoccupied due to the absence of local and foreign tourist arrivals.



Cebu’s tourism and economy suffer loss

The tourism industry in Cebu has fixed its “foregone revenue” to be at PhP25 billion for the first half of this year. Since Cebu is also considered a hub for English as Second Language (ESL) learners—mostly Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese students—Airbnb profits from this market have also declined.

In response to the drastic impact of the pandemic on tourism, the Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT-7) is making plans to revitalize the industry. To bring back the sector on its feet, DOT-7 requested PhP71 billion, which will go to tourism projects of the department. Its initial plans will focus on domestic tourist attractions. DOT-7 Regional Director Shalimar Tamano stressed that the country needs to establish the confidence of the international community before opening activities. Moreover, the country needs to address safety issues before the economy can recover [2].

Regulation for the movement of travelers in rural areas

A “One Bus Stop” policy is implemented in the municipality of Argao in southern Cebu to regulate the number of travelers who are coming to and from their town. All travelers who are coming from and traveling to other parts of Cebu will board and disembark buses in Barangay Poblacion Bus Stop only. The municipal government of Argao appeals to its residents for their understanding to protect the town against the possible spread of COVID-19.



Effects of COVID-19 on Mactan-Cebu International Airport’s passenger traffic

Due to domestic and international travel restrictions, Cebu’s air passenger traffic faced a 20 percent decline in the first three months of 2020. Preparations for the new normal in the airport are still ongoing, while local airlines have notified passengers of the new measures as they prepare to open and fly again. Airlines are expected to resume their services on June 1 but with limited capacity. Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the country’s second-busiest air hub, depends on the government’s ease of restriction since that will dictate the recovery of Cebu’s air travel industry [4].


Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Cebu.



Sources:
[1] https://bit.ly/3eqrN7h
[2] https://bit.ly/2XxJkUm
[3] https://bit.ly/36G3cbZ
[4] https://bit.ly/3dblrIK

Tourist Spots in Cebu, Cebu, pandemic, Outbreak, COVID-19, community quarantine, Cebu’s Tourism

Cebu’s diverse offerings like canyoneering and whale shark diving have been put to halt due to the pandemic.


The novel coronavirus outbreak made a great impact on tourism and travel behavior in the country. The rate of flight bookings went down, low occupancy was reported in hotels, and tourism activities closed since the outbreak. The Queen City of the South and tourist spots in Cebu, which is considered as the bread and butter of Central Visayas’ tourism industry, have also suffered from the pandemic.

Although the Queen City of the South has recorded 2,013 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of May 27, 2020, it also had a record-breaking recovery report of 164 in one day [1]. Cebuanos are doing their part to prevent the spread by staying at home and following protocols in public places while the community quarantine is yet to be lifted. Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism is already making plans to reawaken the sector and to make tourist spots in Cebu enticing once again.

BPO companies, health workers, and OFWs occupy hotels

While hotels have not bee open for leisure travelers, some rooms didn’t remain empty. These were occupied by Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and telecommunication employees who were still required to report to work. Repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were also accommodated. In addition to these groups, health workers were also temporarily housed in hotels to keep them isolated from their families. However, despite these, 6,286 hotel rooms out of 10,600 in Central Visayas have remained unoccupied due to the absence of local and foreign tourist arrivals.



Cebu’s tourism and economy suffer loss

The tourism industry in Cebu has fixed its “foregone revenue” to be at PhP25 billion for the first half of this year. Since Cebu is also considered a hub for English as Second Language (ESL) learners—mostly Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese students—Airbnb profits from this market have also declined.

In response to the drastic impact of the pandemic on tourism, the Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT-7) is making plans to revitalize the industry. To bring back the sector on its feet, DOT-7 requested PhP71 billion, which will go to tourism projects of the department. Its initial plans will focus on domestic tourist attractions. DOT-7 Regional Director Shalimar Tamano stressed that the country needs to establish the confidence of the international community before opening activities. Moreover, the country needs to address safety issues before the economy can recover [2].

Regulation for the movement of travelers in rural areas

A “One Bus Stop” policy is implemented in the municipality of Argao in southern Cebu to regulate the number of travelers who are coming to and from their town. All travelers who are coming from and traveling to other parts of Cebu will board and disembark buses in Barangay Poblacion Bus Stop only. The municipal government of Argao appeals to its residents for their understanding to protect the town against the possible spread of COVID-19.



Effects of COVID-19 on Mactan-Cebu International Airport’s passenger traffic

Due to domestic and international travel restrictions, Cebu’s air passenger traffic faced a 20 percent decline in the first three months of 2020. Preparations for the new normal in the airport are still ongoing, while local airlines have notified passengers of the new measures as they prepare to open and fly again. Airlines are expected to resume their services on June 1 but with limited capacity. Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the country’s second-busiest air hub, depends on the government’s ease of restriction since that will dictate the recovery of Cebu’s air travel industry [4].


Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Cebu.



Sources:
[1] https://bit.ly/3eqrN7h
[2] https://bit.ly/2XxJkUm
[3] https://bit.ly/36G3cbZ
[4] https://bit.ly/3dblrIK

author

Yoorekka’s team is composed of talented writers from all over the Philippines with varied interests, from creative writing to environmental advocacy. There is one thing that they share, though: they’re all passionate about producing articles that are not only interesting to read but also useful for anyone reading!

Cebu pandemic Outbreak COVID 19 community quarantine Cebu's Tourism Cebu City

Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.

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