Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Cebu’s tourism enterprise to open first sea-based water theme park

Willy Rodolfo III
Business Mirror

CEBU is set to open its first sea-based water theme park as the tourism enterprise that brought brands like Island Souvenirs and Island Banca Cruises launches its first venture into property development.

Talima Adventure and Water Park on Olango Island off east Mactan is currently on its dry run and should open to the public before the end of April, Islands Group chief executive Jay Aldeguer said.

More than just a beach destination, Talima brought in more than P10 million worth of water-recreation systems from inflatables to traditional watersport equipment.

“In order for Cebu to compete with our neighbors in Asia, we have to constantly develop new products and new attractions. We have to constantly innovate,” Aldeguer said.

What will be opened to the public will only be phase 1 of the development, with succeeding land-based expansions ready to respond to the public’s acceptance of the project. The water park has more than a hectare of property ready for development.

Among the attractions of the park are the giant inflatable slide, the “iceberg” eater trampolines and glass-bottomed boats, among others.

Olango Island is already popular on its own with its world-renowned bird sanctuary, a vital stopover for migratory birds, and is one of the biggest and richest in the region. Fish sanctuaries surrounding the island is also a popular destination for tourists with its rich marine life and lively fish interaction activities.

With this in mind, Aldeguer appointed an environmentalist and marine biologist to oversee the Talima project to assure that all development is pegged on the environment and not the other way around.

“Some projects complete their development first then adjust the environment. We base our  development with the environment-protection atmosphere first,” he said.

The property managers are also internationally certified safety and rescue officers to ensure reliability of the equipment and activities.

Marketing manager Carlo Borromeo said the initial fees for the park is P250, which covers both the entrance fee and the use of the facilities. Talima is just a 10-minute cross by boat from mainland Mactan.

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