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The Franciscan Youths (YOUFRA) of Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor: Feeling triumphant after giving their share to the community. Tree planting and clean up activities are one of the regular activities of these youth to help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change following their weekly formation at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor. (pia-siquijor/Rizalie Anding Calibo)
Central Visayas Region

PIA Press Release
Thursday, January 05, 2012

Sinulog Festival boosts Cebu’s local tourism sector

by Fayette C. Riñen

CEBU CITY, January 5 (PIA) -- Despite increases in hotel rates by as much as 50 percent, hotels and even small pension houses in Cebu are now 90 percent full, as the festive Sinulog Mardi Gras event nears.

Ricky Ballesteros, executive director of the Sinulog Foundation, Inc. (SFI) claimed that hotels can hardly accommodate more people who want to to witness the grand parade on January 15.

“The Sinulog event is always a lucrative time for the hotel sector and even pension houses in Cebu City because this is the time when their occupancy rates are at its highest,” Ballesteros said.

“Hotels hike their room rates at an average of 20 to 50 percent. Last year, some hotels even tripled their room rates to 300 percent,” Ballesteros said.

Ballesteros said that with the influx of tourists to Cebu during the Sinulog event, not only the accommodation sector is benefited. “Restaurants, malls, other small traders and even the transportation sector as well can gain from the large number of tourists that flock to Cebu every Sinulog event,” according to the SFI executive director.

Even the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 has taken advantage of the occasion to hold the Sinulog Fiesta ‘OTOP Fair 2012’ at the SM City Cebu. The OTOP Fair will run from January 11 until 22 and features the best of Cebu products, food and non-food items alike.

OTOP which stands for One Town, One Product is a priority program of the government to promote a specific product or service distinct of every city or municipality with the end-goal of promoting entrepreneurship and create jobs at the same time. (PIA-Cebu)

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