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Use lean time to make Cebu a better destination, airport exec suggests

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Maintenance and renovation? NAH - what if tourists never come back?  :rolleyes::sarcasm:




MANDAUE CITY, Cebu—With the travel ban resulting in huge drop of tourist arrivals in Cebu, industry stakeholders should use this time to address what needs to be done in their respective areas.

This is what Andrew Acquaah-Harrison, chief executive advisor of GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), said after he spoke at Tuesday’s (February 11, 2020) investment forum organized by the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) in partnership with the city government held at the Oakridge Executive Lounge along A.S Fortuna Street here.

Acquaah-Harrison disclosed that before the travel ban, the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) served 5,300 international passengers a day.

Now, MCIA instantly lost 2,100 passengers due to the travel ban caused by the 2019-novel coronavirus threat (2019-nCoV).

This drop in numbers has affected businesses such as transportation services, hotels, resorts, restaurants, tourist destinations and souvenir shops, he pointed out.

“Europeans have decided not to come to Asia because Asia is seen as a higher risk. Bookings from Korean tourists went down by as much as 70 percent in the next eight weeks. As a result of that we expect to face challenging times,” said Acquaah-Harrison. 

He noted that it might be unlikely for the 2019-nCoV issue to be resolved in five months and it would likely take time before a vaccine could be developed and people would start traveling again.

“It took us a long time to build that momentum, to gain that traffic,” Acquaah-Harrison said. “All we can hope for is it won’t be a prolonged crisis and they find the vaccination. And there will be a reasonable lag time for people to regain confidence.”

In the meantime, the lean time could be used by all those concerned to prepare for the return of the traffic, he told CDN Digital.

He urged stakeholders to implement what needs to be done, such as improving tourist destinations, making access easier and doing improvements that could be done in the airport, the roads and public transportation.

Foreign tourists enjoy the breathtaking view of Oslob town in southern Cebu, known for its whale shark watching activity. In the background is Sumilon Island, also one of the tourist spots in Cebu. | CDN file photo

“If we concentrate our efforts on doing that now, when the traffic returns, we’ll be much more prepared and we’ll be a better destination,” Acquaah-Harrison said.

Acquaah-Harrison cited Boracay as an example, which became a better destination after it used the time it was closed down to do what needed to be done.

“So, I’m hoping that in many ways throughout the Philippines, we can emulate that principle of using the lean period to make improvements,” Acquaah-Harrison said.

For its part, GMCAC plans to renovate a section of Terminal 1, which had undergone renovation in 2016, during this lean period.

According to Acquaah-Harrison, the section doesn’t appear as new as the recently renovated area of the terminal.

“So, we’re looking at this lean period to do that renovation,” he added, referring to the departure area for Cebu Pacific. /bmjo

Read more: https://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/287498/use-lean-time-to-make-cebu-a-better-destination-airport-exec-suggests#ixzz6DhGiK3JH
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It is good to see some forward thinking for a change...

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11 minutes ago, Paddy said:

It is good to see some forward thinking for a change...

Yeah, but I can see the logic being changed to, "We don't have pax so don't have income to pay for improvements."  There is hope though.

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