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Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities in Sustainable Tourism Development in Central Visayas: Specific and Common Concerns of Cebu and Bohol

Author : Belinda F. Espiritu and Cora Jane C. Lawas

Program : Local-Regional Studies Network / Central Visayas Studies Center, UP Cebu

Abstract : This paper explores the status, issues and concerns, and challenges and opportunities in sustainable tourism development in Central Visayas using the framework of sustainable development, with its three aspects of socio-cultural sustainability, ecological sustainability, and economic sustainability. Cebu and Bohol, the top two tourist destinations in Central Visayas, are popular for the following: world-class hotels, beaches, and resorts; meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE) tourism; community-based ecotourism; cultural tourism; and agri-tourism. Both provinces have issues and concerns, challenges, and opportunities—some of which are specific to each, while some are common to both. Among the specific issues and concerns in Cebu are the need for good governance and inter-agency coordination for sustainable tourism, particularly in ecotourism sites, and the need to develop and strengthen more types of alternative tourism. Bohol is concerned with restoring and preserving its heritage structures and ensuring equitable economic growth and environmental sustainability. Their common issues include tourism-induced prostitution, climate change, disaster risk preparedness, growing traffic congestion, water sustainability, solid waste management, air pollution controls, quality of water in seas, preservation of marine resources, the need for an efficient public transportation system, and the implementation of their tourism and environmental codes to ensure sustainability.

Keywords : Sustainable tourism, Central Visayas, ecotourism, cultural tourism, multi-stakeholder partnerships