Palawan Eyes Tourism Partnership with Cebu
By Ehda M. Dagooc
CEBU, Philippines – The Puerto Princesa government in Palawan expressed interest to have a formal partnership with Cebu tourism stakeholders in promoting both destinations to both domestic and foreign tourists.
Puerto Princesa City tourism officer Rebecca V. Labit said that the daily flight of Cebu Pacific Air to Palawan from Cebu can help strengthen the proposed partnership between Cebu and Palawan, as both provinces have different attractions that provide wide options for tourists.
“It’s good to connect with Cebu. Cebu is a metropolis destination. We are offering eco-tourism attractions. Besides, the partnership will also help in terms of trade and commerce,” said Labit.
Labit added that as Puerto Princesa is on its way to promote the “eco-terrific” tagline for its tourism promotion, she said her office will partner with more tour operators especially from Cebu to sell Palawan as part of the destinations for Cebu-bound visitors.
While tourism is already considered as one of the strongest revenue earners for the Philippines, Labit said it is now high time for stakeholders to forge a strong partnership with each other, instead of competing.
Palawan’s attractions on the other hand, are different from what Cebu is offering. Cebu can be the center for shopping, while Palawan can also be the destination for the environment lovers, and adventure enthusiasts.
Cebu Pacific Air earlier announced the opening of its daily flight frequency from Cebu-Puerto Princesa flight, from three times a week.
The airline said that there is a strong demand for additional frequency between these two tourism destinations.
Labit welcomed the development saying the increased flight frequency from Cebu to Puerto Princesa and vice-versa will be instrumental to the province’s aim to hit its target tourism arrival of 500 thousand this year, from 268 thousand it registered last year.
According to Labit, with the recognition of tourism as the main revenue generator for Puerto Princesa, she said the government led by Edward S. Hagedorn will make an extensive expansion of tourism related projects in the next few years, including the establishment of eco-tourism corridor from the northern to southern part of Puerto Princesa in Palawan, that will be managed by community organizations.
Aside from the nominated seven wonders in the world, the Subterranean River National Park, Labit said Palawan boasts of its wide-array of eco-tourism related activities and attractions which are now in demand in the itineraries of both local and foreign tourists.
Labit also hopes that more Cebuano investors will consider investing in Palawan, for any tourism related establishments.
“We need hotel facilities. We don’t have five-star hotel accommodation yet,” said Labit.
The elongated Island province of Palawan, is one of the models of successful eco-tourism in the Philippines. It is considered as the last ecological frontier of the Philippines.
The local government unit is prohibiting investors to establish industrial plants in the province, in order not to disturb the ecological balance of the place