Islands Banca Cruises eyes foreign clientele

CEBU, Philippines – Although it has successfully carved its name in the domestic market as the premier Island Hopping transport facility, Islands Banca Cruises (IBC) refuses to sit on its laurels as it tries to expand reach to the world market.

The interest of the foreign tourists started to heighten during the recently concluded Sinulog Festival, where a number of foreign visitors, including “balikbayans” showing interest to experience the “modernized” Island Hopping activity in Cebu.

“We were fully-booked during Sinulog week, but we had to cancel most bookings because of the weather,” said IBC president and chief executive officer (CEO) Jay P. Aldeguer in an interview with The Freeman.

The company is currently negotiating close partnership with hotels, resorts, tour operators, and travel agencies to help promote the service to the foreigners.

Island’s Group head for marketing Carlo Borromeo said that the company is hoping to increase its foreign traffic availing of the sophisticated Island Hopping services by the company, including the romantic sunset cruise it offers.

Already, IBC has an ongoing partnership with the Cebu Pacific Air, to include IBC’s packages to the airlines promotional campaign, especially in the online.

Unlike the traditional pumpboat ride, Islands Banca offers beverages, light snacks, and toiletries and Spa (service) on board, with comfortable bean bags. It also offers water-sports equipment for rent.

A banca is an archetypical Philippine boat, fundamentally, a sturdy, deep-hulled outrigger canoe designed primarily for inter-island transport. Despite being very simple, almost rustic, a banca is a stable, reliable and fast vessel.