CEBU CITY: Cebu is emerging as the next hub for international cruise ships, a tourism official said.
Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 Director Rowena Montecillo said Cebu welcomed at least a thousand guests when a cruise ship docked and stayed overnight at the Cebu port.
But Mentecillo said the poor port infrastructure is one of the major constraints for the development of cruise tourism in Cebu.
“Yes, we do want to be included in the map of international cruise ships. But right now, we have some problems with the port area,” she said.
Montecillo said the Cebu Port Authority is looking for another place to transfer the Cebu International Port (CIP) to another town very near Cebu City so that the current CIP at Pier 6 will be used for cruise liners.
She cited the construction of a new international container port in Consolacion as a welcome development to push the plan to sell Cebu as an international cruise destination.
The new PHP9-billion CIP in Tayud, Consolacion aims to decongest the CIP in Cebu City.
This new port, with an area of 60 hectares, will be constructed for three years.
Montecillo said Cebu can offer good tourism packages to the cruise tourism market because it is blessed with natural resources, including beautiful beaches that are only 30 minutes to 40 minutes away from the city.
She also said tour packages are already in place for guests who prefer countryside tours to neighboring islands like Bohol, which is Cebu’s twin partner in tourism.
“Cebu is the second destination outside Manila, as it can offer almost the same things that Manila can offer with pluses,” she said.
“For now, it’s really just the problem on the ships’ docking area at Pier 6. But as I’ve said, the Cebu Ports Authority is already addressing that issue,” she said.