Cebu welcomed 10.6% more tourists-A A +A
Friday, January 25, 2013
SOME two million visitors arrived in Cebu City from January to November in 2012, the latest data from the Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 show.
The arrivals grew by 10.63 percent from the 1.8 million arrivals recorded in the same period in 2011.
Arrivals from the top 10 foreign travel markets totaled 802,371, up by 14.93 percent. Korea led the list with 386,322 arrivals, posting a 10.61 percent growth from 349,266 arrivals in 2011.
Among the key markets that posted significant growth is Russia, whose arrivals grew by 40.21 percent or 10,779 arrivals from 7,688 in 2011. It ranked fifth in the list, overtaking China, which is now in the sixth spot.
The increased number of Russian tourists in Cebu can be credited to the marketing efforts led by Russian Honorary Consul Armi Lopez-Garcia.
At least 487 Russian tourists visited Cebu in September last year. According to the Russian Federation-Philippines, that was by far the largest group that arrived, a significant development in terms of tourism and relations with Russia.
Garcia, in past interviews, said Cebu should attract the Russian market as they are long-staying tourists and are big spenders.
Next to Korea with the most number of arrivals is Japan, whose arrivals grew by 24.30 percent. Japanese arrivals in the first 11 months of 2012 totaled 179,336 higher than 144,275 arrivals in 2011.
This was followed by United States of America with 75,659 arrivals, which grew by 14.20 percent. Australia landed in the fourth spot with arrivals of 24,085, up by 13.61 percent.
Although overtaken by Russia, arrivals from China continued to grow. Their numbers grew by 11.07 percent or 26,597 arrivals.
Other markets that posted strong growth are Germany with 14,588 arrivals, growing at 13.27 percent; Singapore at 11,041 up by 8.55 percent; and United Kingdom, up by 16.01 percent for a total of 13,885 arrivals.
Arrivals from Canada, meanwhile, dropped from 9,996 in 2011 to 9,917 last year.
The DOT announced that the country welcomed some 4.3 million foreign visitors last year, posting a 9.07 increase from 3.9 million visitors in 2011. The agency said this is the first time the number of visitors surpassed four million.
South Korea remained the biggest market and the first to contribute more than one million visitors. USA came in second, with 625,626 arrivals, followed by Japan with 412,474 arrivals.
“Crossing the four-million mark is a feat in itself and puts us well on track to achieve our ultimate goal of 10 million visitor arrivals by 2016,” DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez in a statement.
He noted that three significant source markets namely, Japan, Taiwan and Russia, an emerging market, have surpassed their target arrivals for 2012.
The country achieved only 93.8 percent of its goal of 4.5 million arrivals last year due to factors like economic and political pressures from traditional markets such as US, Europe and China.
Depsite the challenges ahead, Jimenez remained optimistic that the country would be able to meet the target of five million arrivals this year.
He said the thrust of the agency’s marketing this year is market development, which entails “expanding the potential market for new users and new uses.”
“We will look into segments that we have not thoroughly explored. We will explore more creative executions geared toward sustaining the fun we have started. We hope to have stronger representation and be the part of the future of tourism in Asia,” Jimenez said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 25, 2013.