The Mactan newtown: An enabler of growth
Mactan, Cebu—Tourism has been a significant contributor to the bustling economy of Cebu, owing to the different attractions that have endeared tourists to the province.
From the historical sites, carnivalesque festivals, to the beach resorts, the shopping, and the nightlife, it comes as no surprise that Cebu is home to the country’s second busiest airport, with local and foreign tourists flocking to the Queen City of the South every year.
In Lapu Lapu City alone, tourism plays a key role as it does not only shore up the city’s coffers via tax revenues, but also generates quality jobs, and stimulates the local economy.
In fact, the top taxpayers in this “Historic Resort City” are the luxury resorts dotting the shores of Mactan, according to Lapu-Lapu City tourism chief Hembler Mendoza.
In an interview with Inquirer Property in Mactan, Mendoza explained that Lapu Lapu City is a leisure destination in Cebu where they have a myriad of offerings, foremost of which are the different beach resorts, ranging from the most exclusive to the more affordable ones. The city also serves as jump off point to surrounding islands.
“It’s all about leisure activities here—anything that has to do with sun, sand and sea,” Mendoza said.
“We have a number of sea -based recreational activities—you can rent a boat, ride the banana boat, go parasailing or do other things. We have 11 dive sites here. We’re getting the right positioning in terms of being tourist destination—we have the fun and leisure component,” Mendoza explained.
And Lapu Lapu City is indeed getting a fair share of the tourism revenues of the province, considering that of the more than 15,000 rooms available in Cebu, the resort city accounts for about 5,000 rooms or a third of the accommodations, according to Mendoza.
Many of the rooms available at Lapu Lapu City, however, are mostly those in the luxury beach resorts.
Mendoza said they don’t expect any slowdown in the domestic and international tourist arrivals this year. They, in fact, also anticipate an influx of Chinese tourists on the back of the renewed ties between the Philippines and China.
But what they are anticipating to contribute significantly to the tourism industry of Lapu Lapu City, according to Mendoza, is the completion of the 30-hectare The Mactan Newtown, Megaworld Corp.’s first foray in Central Visayas.
“It’s the first time that we have a development of this scale here. It’s a city within a city and when it is completed, or even just half operational, it will have a huge contribution to Lapu Lapu City. It will offer a complete package,” Mendoza said.
“The entry of Megaworld here will allow more people to generate income in terms of (enabling) livelihood or the small businesses. They (offered opportunities) to alleviate poverty. They will also provide the people living nearby a chance to have a better perspective of the different kind of lifestyle that Megaworld will bring to Lapu Lapu,” he said.
Mendoza pointed out that the good thing about The Mactan Newtown is the fact that it allows the public to experience what a Megaworld lifestyle is all about, without necessarily sacrificing on safety and security.
For instance, the Mactan Alfresco, which hosts homegrown restaurants, is open to the public. It has become a venue of many activities and events regularly hosted by Megaworld.
“The Mactan Newtown is very welcoming. People go here and they have a chance to know what’s new. There are also different events being held here. You’d immediately feel welcome—it’s a totally different ambience and service,” he said.
The impact of The Mactan Newtown on the local community alone is expected to have a domino effect and is seen to leave a positive mark over the long term. Easily, Megaworld is becoming an influencer in the host community, with the different opportunities it offers to the residents of Lapu Lapu City.
Also, the different activities being held at The Mactan Newtown, as it is, are already boosting the already booming tourism industry in this part of Cebu.
More so, when all the plans fall in place, which include the construction of a mall and the improvement of the beach area.
“Right now, The Mactan Newtown is also one of the drivers of tourism here as they actively collaborate with the locals, associations and non government organizations. They are working as part of the community that is seeking to boost arrivals here with the different activities they offer,” he added.
The Mactan Newtown is a masterplanned community with its own beachfront, reportedly the first of its kind in the country. It offers top-grade office sites, retail and commercial centers, upscale residential developments, hotels, and a reputable academic institution.
Several companies already have offices at The Mactan Newtown including Manulife, The Results Companies, Enfra USA, and Concentrix. Residential projects include 8 Newtown Boulevard and One Manchester Place, among others.