Cebu seen as second home to the world’s affluent

CEBU CITY – Foreseeing the potential of Cebu to attract more foreign direct investments (FDIs), the Cebu Investments Promotions Center (CIPC) will spearhead a collaborative effort with private and public stakeholders to promote the province as the world's “second home destination” next to Spain and Dubai.
CIPC Managing Director Joel Mari Yu announced this week plans to initiate a comprehensive program of pushing Cebu as a “second home destination” that will need the support of such related agencies as the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Tourism (DoT), property developers, and local government units (LGUs).
“We have a very good value proposition for Cebu because of our tropical climate, beaches, world-class medical facilities, shopping, and dynamic economy in business,” Yu said during the CIPC’s 15th anniversary last Thursday. “Let’s capitalize on what we have—our resources.”
According to Yu, the promotional program, slated to begin early next year, will lump together tourism and investment opportunities in Cebu, targeting foreign tourists and investors in the high-end market.
When the campaign materializes, Yu said Cebu is seen to become at par with Spain and Dubai, which are top “second home destinations” for the wealthy market.
“Everybody in Europe wants to buy property in Spain and or in Dubai, because they are successful in attracting foreigners to buy properties in these countries. Cebu's long-term vision is to make us a second home destination for these foreigners whether they come here as a medical tourist, to do business, or invest in properties,” Yu said.
Of late, the DoT has launched its “Live Your Dream,” an investment-tourism strategy to lure foreigners, such as active retirees, in investing on vacation homes in the Philippines.
Yu believes Cebu has already created its niche as a business and leisure destination. “Our tourism arrivals have grown significantly every year and we are attracting new markets like China and the Middle East. It's time we take it to the next level and market Cebu not just for leisure but as an investment hub in Asia,” he said.
Over the past five years, industry players including the Cebu City Government, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and other sectors in the province have been actively involved in growing Cebu's “twin-win” industries, that is, tourism and information and communications technology (ICT).
In the last 14 years, Yu said Metro Cebu has registered 500 foreign direct investments relating to tourism, as signified by the influx of more international hotel chains, as well as in ICT, as shown by the mushrooming of many business process outsourcing companies (BPOs) relocating to Cebu.
Citing official company records, Yu said Metro Cebu has over 513,529 square meters of rental space available. Occupancy rate of most IT buildings are at 75%.
“This sends out a message that whether you are here to relax or do business, Cebu has the necessary infrastructure to cater to all your needs,” Yu said.
(Manila Bulletin)

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