AirAsia makes serious move to revive Cebu tourism

Published April 7, 2021, 5:20 PM

by Ariel Fernandez

Budget airline AirAsia Philippines is now the official corporate airline partner of the Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu, Inc. (HRRACI).

(Photographer: Samsul Said / Bloomberg / FILE PHOTO)

“Filipinos are looking forward to traveling this summer. Though the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the NCR-plus has greatly affected the decision-making of most local travelers, we believe that there will be enough time for our ‘kababayans’ to ‘beat the summer heat’ and visit Cebu,” AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said in a statement.

The partnership was kicked off by a simple virtual program on Tuesday, April 6. It was attended by various stakeholders in the hotel, resort, and food and beverage services industries.  

HRRACI is a non-profit, non-government organization (NGO) that provides an avenue for strategic partnerships among its member companies, associates, schools, and other stakeholders with the common goal of promoting Cebu as a world-class tourist destination.

According to recent data from local health authorities, cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the province of Cebu have significantly dropped over the past weeks, paving a comeback trail for the tourism sector in time for various festivities and summer activities.

“Tourism stakeholders including AirAsia, are united with The Department of Tourism and Local Government Units in rebooting the tourism industry in Cebu, a vital industry that contributes to the Philippine economy. When one speaks of Cebu, it means relaxation, luxury, pleasure, and fun, all in one island. It won’t be much of a challenge to attract tourists to rediscover the Queen City of the South,” Isla pointed out.

During the program, AirAsia presented potential partnership opportunities for the various stakeholders such as A-Pass, a virtual passport that gives the holder special discounts to AirAsia’s partner establishments; and SNAP, AirAsia’s flight + hotel combo platform on the AirAsia super app that offers convenient fly and stay packages at unbeatable prices.

“This new partnership with HRRACI brings about great opportunities for us to work together, to rise above the challenges we are facing, and usher the tourism industry to its pre-pandemic glory,” Isla added.

Members of the HRRACI expressed their appreciation for the efforts shown by AirAsia in rebuilding confidence in tourism and air travel.

HRRACI President Alfred Reyes said, “In an effort to accelerate economic recovery, and in support to boost tourism in the country,  AirAsia presented projects to continue rebuilding confidence in travelling. With proper strategies, domestic tourism can lead the rebound in the early phase of recovery.”

“What we need right now is a collective effort and we look forward to working together with all the tourism stakeholders from hoteliers, restaurants, to travel agents to attain our objectives,” he said.