Tourist arrivals in Cebu up 10%-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Thursday, August 4, 2011
CEBU saw a 10 percent growth in its tourist arrivals for most of the first half of the year, figures from the Department of Tourism showed.
A total of 810,673 foreign and local tourists visited Cebu from January to May this year, 10.37 percent higher than the 734,531 visitors it had for the same period last year.
Foreign travellers reached 330,093 while domestic tourists numbered 480,580.
Korean tourists remained the top foreign visitors, with 134,217. They comprised 40.66 percent of the foreign arrivals. The number of Koreans who visited grew by 54 percent, as only 87,059 arrived in Cebu for the same period last year.
Chinese and Hong Kong tourists declined dramatically, at 60.2 percent and 51.7 percent, respectively. This year, only 7,677 visitors from the People’s Republic of China visited as opposed to the 19,296 that came last year. Tourists from Hong Kong numbered 5,424, much lower than than 11,222 that came last year.
Taiwanese tourists also dropped in number, from 2,769 in 2010 to 1,199 this year.
Despite these setbacks, tourists from East Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan) still remained the top foreign visitors, making a combined total of 215,767 tourists, up 17.9 percent from last year’s figure of 182,977.
While the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last March caused tourism players to worry, figures showed that they did not have to, as Japanese tourists increased 7.3 percent, from 62,631 last year to 67,250.
Europeans followed the East Asians in number, with almost two percent of the 38,689 coming from the United Kingdom. The rest came from countries of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Among the Asean countries, Singaporeans were the most in number with 4,390 visitors.
Cebu also saw increases in the number of tourists from Australia, New Zealand, India, Canada and the Middle East. Visitors from the United States dropped 1.12 percent from 32,227 to 31,865.
The DOT recorded 9,646 other visitors from “unspecified” residences and 5,215 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). The number of OFWs returning dropped 20.68 percent from 6,575.
DOT gets its data from accommodation establishments around Cebu.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 05, 2011.