Cebu tourism sector eye sea transport development to avoid congested roads

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THE DEPARTMENT of Tourism-Central Visayas (DOT-7) is now in talks with the Cebu Ports Authority (CPA) for the development of an intra-province sea transportation access to serve as an alternative to land travel. DOT-7 regional director Shalimar H. Tamano said his office has already presented its proposal for sea transport options as a way of avoiding congested roads, especially in the Metro Cebu area. Aside from the CPA, Mr. Tamano said they are also coordinating closely with the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr). He emphasized that it is important to provide utmost convenience, especially to tourists, and sea transport is one of the easiest solutions. Meanwhile, Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa is initiating a discussion with the incoming local government leaders in Cebu City to provide a docking area for water taxis coming from Mactan Island. The resort’s general manager, Renè Egle, said in an interview that the docking area located in front of Il Corso mall at the South Road Properties is a good facility that can accommodate water taxis coming from the island to avoid heavy traffic on land. At present, Shangri-La Mactan is operating a water taxi service for guests coming from and going to the airport using the docking area near Marina Mall in Lapu-Lapu City. “We have the boat,” said Mr. Egle, adding that the problem now is the availability of a good docking area. The high-end resort also plans to talk to other resort properties along Punta Engaño like Movenpick to share the transportation service for guests going to the city. — The Freeman