Enticing travelers back with promos and sales


AFTER the big hit from the lockdowns and travel bans caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, local tourism players are hoping that discounts and promos will be able to lure travelers back.

Cebu Pacific, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, is holding seat sales for local and foreign destinations while Cebu’s private sector is launching I Love Cebu, a campaign and travel sale to increase visits to the city and the surrounding area.

Cebu Pacific unveiled a month-long seat sale earlier this month where trips to local destinations will cost just P25. earlier this month. The sale period is up to Mar. 31 or until seats last, with travel periods set until Dec. 31, 2021. Destinations include Bacolod, Boracay (Caticlan), Cagayan De Oro, Coron (Busuanga), Cotabato, Davao, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iloilo, Legazpi, Marinduque, Naga, Roxas, Siargao, Tacloban, and Zamboanga. There are also international seat sale promos with base fares ranging from P599 (Manila to Kota Kinabalu) to P3,499 (Manila to Dubai).

“We’re quite happy to note that 76% of the respondents actually said that they’re planning to travel again this year,” said Candice Iyog, VP for Marketing and Customer Experience for Cebu Pacific. Surveying their passenger base to find out their primary concerns for travel,the top priority for 2021 is the acquisition of travel requirements.

Ms. Iyog also announced a permanent cancellation of flight change fees. “We know and understand that it will take some time before confidence in air travel is fully restored. What we want is to make it easier for people to fly again. We know that flexibility is still important,” she said in a press conference.

“We believe that this is all very important because we want to support domestic tourism.”

Cebu Pacific’s passengers are required to wear face shields during the entire flight, on top of the mandatory face masks, in line with directives from the governments. Safety measures include daily extensive cleaning and disinfection protocols for all aircraft and facilities, rapid antibody testing for all frontliners and crew and contactless flight procedures. “These are based on global best practices, and adhere to the highest safety standards,” says the Cebu Pacific website.

One of Cebu Pacific’s destinations is its namesake, Cebu, where the private sector is launching I Love Cebu, a campaign and travel sale to increase visits to the city and surrounding areas.

The sales and the promos will be available through traveloco.ph/ilovecebu.

The platform aims to “help revive tourism exactly a year since the nationwide lockdowns,” said Alfred Reyes, President of the Hotel, Resort, and Restaurant Association of Cebu, Inc. in a press conference earlier this week. The platform will sell vouchers for hotels, resorts, tour operators, packages, and transportation. Shalimar Tamano, Regional Director of the Department of Tourism (DoT) Region VII said, “Travelers can expect up to 70% discounts for hotels and resorts as well as for tour operators.”

Aside from minimum public health safety standards — frequent washing of hands, wearing of face masks, observing social distancing, and proper sneezing or coughing etiquette — different areas in Cebu province have different requirements for visitors. “It is only Cebu City that requires the negative RT-PCR tests,” noted Margie Munsayac, Bluewater Resorts Vice-President for Sales and Marketing in the Zoom chatbox. “But Lapu-Lapu City does not require any testing nor travel requirements. Mandaue City and Cebu Province require only a medical certificate and confirmed accommodation booking.”

Riza Macaibay of DoT-Region VII gave an assurance that, “All DoT Accredited establishments are compliant to the health and safety protocols stated in the DoT guidelines for Accommodations under Community Quarantine. The Provincial Government of Cebu also issued an Executive Order that accommodation establishments in the Province (except Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City) must apply for DoT Accreditation and be inspected by the Provincial Tourism Office, if they comply with the health and safety protocols stated in EO 2020-20A, prior to resumption of operations.”

Visit traveloco.ph/ilovecebu when it goes online on Mar. 21. The sale will last until Apr. 30, 2021. Watch out for other updates on facebook.com/ilovecebu032. Meanwhile, to avail of the Cebu Pacific seat sale, visit cebupacificair.com/pages/seat-sale-promo. — JLG

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