While the destination islands of Bantayan and Malapascua recover from super typhoon Yolanda, the Provincial Government encourages tourists to visit other Cebu attractions.
Cebu provincial tourism officer Mary Grace K. Paulino said heritage structures in southern Cebu such as Spanish period churches and buildings are intact.
“Our southern tour is very popular right now especially because the old churches and other heritage sites of Bohol had been destroyed or damaged during the earthquake,” she added.
Since Yolanda did not directly hit the towns or cities in the southern part of Cebu, nature sites like beach and mountain resorts and the dive spots of Moalboal were either spared or sustained only slight damages, according to Paulino.
“We suggest to tourists that they visit other Cebu destinations because we have plenty. The good thing that we’ve noticed is that our tourism industry is going back to normal,” she added.
In the case of Bantayan, she revealed, around 80 to 90 percent of resorts were damaged and couldn’t accommodate guests. There are almost 30 accommodation facilities in the Bantayan town of Sta. Fe alone, she added.
Only 3 or 4 resorts in Bantayan are currently operational, Paulino cited, adding the situation would have a huge impact on the local economy of the island which is being driven by tourism.
Right now, Paulino said the Provincial Government is helping in clean-up activities in affected Cebu areas, especially in Malapascua.
They’ve also met with affected establishments to determine how the province can help them get back on their feet.
According to her, one program they’ve identified is to provide livelihood to local employees of the resorts who currently do not have work.
Before the typhoon, the Provincial Government had been conducting trainings on community-based tourism programs. The goal, Paulino added, is to teach the local people to conduct tours for tourists as a way of providing them jobs.