• Dayon Kamo: Cebu Tourism Forum 2024 explores Content and Heritage Tourism 

    The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) held a tourism forum titled “Dayon Kamo: Reimagining Sugbo Tourism” on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, at Mactan Cebu International Airport.

    The event was part of the month-long Cebu Business Month 2024 celebration.

    An insightful presentation of business opportunities and challenges was discussed by various speakers, including Assistant Secretary Maria Rica C. Bueno and Undersecretary Myra Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar of the Department of Tourism, Garlic Garcia of Viu Philippines, Jeano Rustico Cruz of GIGIL, and Marie Sol D. Gonzalvo of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.

    The forum discussed what Cebu can offer to develop its tourism industry and increase economic growth. The panelists have emphasized the importance of strengthening collaboration among communities, governments, and private sectors to achieve sustainable tourism.

    Mr. Jay Yuvallus, President of CCCI, highlights the importance of thinking and asking to generate answers to drive innovation and development in the tourism sector.

    Interestingly, the forum surfaced meaningful discussions of business and tourism trends to build a winning tourism strategy for Cebu City.

    Content Tourism
    Featuring heritage, foods, history, and tourist attractions in movies is one of the untapped potentials mentioned in tourism. The trend of content tourism, which is heavily practiced in the entertainment industry in South Korea and Thailand, was seen as a model Cebu can follow.

    In Garlic Garcia’s presentation, she highlighted the influence of the creative industry in driving tourism. She called to lobby for a bill to lower entertainment taxes and increase production incentives.

    She expressed her vision of making Cebu an ultimate creative hub and destination for content tourism, where the creative and entertainment sectors can thrive.

    Heritage Tourism
    At the same time, Cebu’s famous ‘Gabii sa Kabilin,’ an annual one-night event initiated by RAFI, has become a leading event to be given attention alongside Cebu’s Grand Showdown.

    Gabii sa Kabilin is the first of its kind in the country, and it features heritage sites all around Cebu, aiming to preserve history and culture.

    Through festivals and events, travelers from all over the world visit Cebu for a cultural experience.

    The importance of fostering cultural appreciation and preserving history among Cebuanos was discussed during the discussion to give them a sense of identity.

    New market, digital nomads
    Katrina Umandap-Howe, CEO of Global Enterprise LLC UAE, proposed a new target market to explore. She shared her perspectives on the potential of developing micro-nomad hubs around Cebu.

    Cebu has the opportunity to capitalize on the emerging market of digital nomads by providing them with affordable accommodation and co-working spaces. The nomads can potentially boost digital-related business and employment opportunities in Cebu, expanding the economy beyond traditional tourism.

    Marketing Strategies
    “It’s more expensive to run campaigns that are mediocre.”

    A concluding statement from Jeano Rustico Cruz, a marketing expert who presented case studies of immersive and unique strategies to entice tourists through reimagined promotions effectively.

    He explained that tourism advertisements should not try to sell but should tell a story.

    Advertisements can look like a movie trailer, a humorous one, an emotionally evoking story, or an immersive experience that guests can share on their social media to promote a location.

    Although Cruz acknowledges the financial constraints among local government units in producing promotional videos, he stressed the importance of being creative and investing in them because they can gain free promotion when noticed by many.

    The Cebu Tourism Forum 2024 marked a significant milestone in the progress of the tourism sector in Cebu. It offered an exciting opportunity for a new era to embrace innovation new market trends, and leverage on the culture and heritage of Cebu. This is an effort to make Cebu a world-class tourism destination for the years to come.

    - Chaya Marquez || Llorele Masong
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