As tourism in Cebu begins to recover, the Department of Tourism (DOT-7) intends to launch a campaign emphasizing the province’s strength in the maritime industry.
“We export ships and boats. We manufacture diving equipment and sell speedboats. We have good diving facilities,” said DOT-7 regional director Shalimar Tamano, explaining that this should be one of Cebu’s attractions that will entice not only domestic visitors but also global travelers once strict travel restrictions are lifted and travelers’ confidence is restored.
Cebu has long been known as one of the country’s favored destinations for shipbuilding, with multinational ship-making companies operating in the city, like Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Austal Philippines’, among others.
According to the official, Cebu should capitalize and assert itself as a maritime hub, by creating a yearly event showcasing this niche.
Specifically, the town of Balamban is producing naval vessels following the completion of Australian shipbuilder Austal Philippines’ US$20 million expansion of its shipyard in 2019. The expansion paved the way for the construction of offshore patrol vessels for the Philippines. Austal’s Cebu shipyard, which began operating in 2012, has since delivered 17 ships to 10 operators in nine countries.
Tsuneishi Heavy Industries Cebu Inc., also based in Balamban, Cebu is involved in shipbuilding, ship repair, and the manufacture of ship and vessel outfittings. From Balamban, it ships medium-sized vessels to various parts of the world.
Cebu is also a top diving destination in Asia, which makes diving-related businesses a thriving venture in the province, especially during the pre-pandemic period.
Japan-based Marine Diving Magazine cited the islands of Bohol, Negros Oriental and Cebu, particularly Moalboal and Malapascua, as among the best diving sites in the Philippines at the Marine Diving Awards 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.