Cebu province relaunches tourism activities

Tourism activities are back in Cebu, after the province was downgraded to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

On Friday, July 31, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, along with lawmakers and provincial board members, led the reopening of the whale shark watching activity in the southern municipality of Oslob. 

The following day, Saturday, August 1, Garcia spearheaded the snorkeling activities in Moalboal, another beach town in southern Cebu.

On Sunday, August 2, the relaunch culminated with the opening of an ATV park in the municipality of Barili.

Cebu province is under MGCQ from August 1 to 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak. Under this classification, non-essential gatherings and leisure activities are allowed as long as minimum health standards are in place.

The move to bring back the tourism activities amid the continuing battle against COVID-19, Garcia said in past interviews, is an effort to provide jobs for Cebuanos whose livelihoods have been reliant on the province's multibillion-peso tourism industry.

“Pangitaan gyud natog paagi nga mahibalik kining usa ka kalihukan nga dili nato tawgon og leisure activity. Usa kini ka kalihukan nga nagda og hilabihan nga kadaghan nga panginabuhi, sa hilabihan kadaghan nga mga kaigsuonan natong Sugbuanon,” Garcia said in a post by Sugbo News, the official news page of the Cebu provincial government.

(We really have to look for a way to revive this activity, which we shall not be calling a leisure activity. This is an activity that has given so many livelihood opportunities to so many of us Cebuanos.)

Unlike in the past where Cebu’s tourism industry was heavily fueled by tourists from China and South Korea, the province is now temporarily reliant on its residents to keep the industry afloat.

Resorts and hotels can also only accommodate 50% of their original carrying capacity. Protocols for specific tourism activities offered by the province’s cities and municipalities have been laid down in Garcia’s Executive Order No. 20-A.

As of Sunday, Cebu province – excluding Cebu City, Mandaue City, and Lapu-Lapu City – has a total of 1,856 coronavirus cases. Of these cases, 835 are active, while 936 have recovered and 85 have died. – Rappler.com