Medellin, a second-class municipality in the northern part of Cebu province, inaugurated the country's first Tourist Rest Area (TRA) on July 10, 2023.
This initiative, led by the Department of Tourism (DOT), aims to provide a safe and comfortable stop for tourists traversing the country. The TRA is located in Brgy. Poblacion, Medellin with a wide of 300 square meters and offers a range of amenities to enhance the travel experience. The facility boasts a coffee shop, a pasalubong (souvenir) and souvenir store, a tourist information area, and free charging stations.
Notably, the souvenir shop serves as a platform for local Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to showcase their products, creating additional livelihood opportunities. In addition to the retail offerings, the TRA provides clean restrooms and shower facilities, free for guests to use.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco emphasized the importance of such amenities, stating that every detail of a tourist's journey is crucial to the DOT's commitment to excellence. The TRA in Medellin is expected to attract more tourists to the municipality, particularly as it transitions from an agricultural town to a promising tourist destination.
Medellin Mayor Joven Mondigo, Jr. also expressed his gratitude for being selected as the site for the first TRA, recognizing tourism as a game-changer for the local development of Medellin. The inauguration of the Medellin TRA marks the beginning of a wider initiative, as the DOT plans to establish a total of 25 TRAs across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia also announced the provincial government's commitment to replicate the TRA project, with Bogo town being the first beneficiary. With the launch of the TRA in Medellin, tourists traveling through the northern part of Cebu can now enjoy a convenient and comfortable stopover.
The Medellin TRA is complemented by Filipino-inspired interiors and furnishings. As the tourism industry continues to grow, these rest areas play a vital role in enhancing the overall travel experience and promoting local businesses.