Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said the commercial airport in Bantayan Island will stimulate the tourism industry in the northern corridor of the province.
Garcia, who presided the Provincial Development Council (PDC) meeting on Wednesday at the Cebu Provincial Capitol, said the Bantayan Island Airport will receive a maiden flight of Cebu Pacific Air on Nov. 27.
The 80-seater aircraft will carry members of the media, vloggers, and social media influencers who will be joining the “mini Suroy-Suroy” (mini tour) to the island on Nov. 27 to 29, she said.
The mini tour will showcase the tourist destinations in the three towns of Bantayan Island as the provincial government is preparing for the “new normal” in tourism activities, she added.
“All the Bantayanons, Lawisnons (residents of Madridejos town), and Santafehanons, will surely be very very happy on that day,” Garcia told the mayors who attended the PDC meeting.
The airport in Bantayan can be reached through a 20 to 30-minute flight from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).
Garcia, along with MCIA general manager Steve Dicdican, led a team in inspecting the Bantayan Island Airport’s finishing works of the 1.2-kilometer runway extension project last Oct. 17.
The new Bantayan airport terminal project, located in Barangay Okoy, Santa Fe town, can accommodate 60-seater commercial planes.
Considered as the “Paradise of the North,” Bantayan Island, particularly the town of Sta. Fe, is highly reliant on tourism.
The island town of Sta. Fe was featured in the local movie “I Found My Heart in Santa Fe,” which is top-billed by real-life couple Roxanne Barcelo and Will Devaughn.
Sta. Fe was also cited last year by the Department of Tourism as the seventh most visited tourist site in the Philippines and the first in Cebu province.
The governor said that reopening of the tourism industry is a priority as millions of Cebuanos whose income and livelihoods were lost due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic have been suffering since the start of the lockdown in March. (PNA)