EASY access to fine jewelry and gems straight from the source is another come-on to attract high-end Chinese tourists to visit the country.

Tourism advocate Robert Lim Joseph said the while fine jewelry and gems are also abundant in other countries, Philippine-made products are different because of the quality of craftsmanship and design.

“While we are known as top exporters of these products, I think that it would be best to make these products also easily accessible here, especially that we aim to capture first-class tourists to visit the country,” said Joseph.

He added that any allocation for the tourism market also means additional jobs for Filipinos and opportunities to hone creativity, make top-tier products, and generate revenue.

The Philippines earned P230.1 billion from tourists last year. Foreign tourist arrivals stood at 5.9 million, dominated by Korea, US, China, Japan and Australia.

The Chinese market rose to the third spot with total arrivals of 675,663, with a market share of 11.32 percent. It recorded a high growth of 37.65 percent from its 490,841 arrivals in 2015.

Joseph, likewise, urged Cebuano retailers to start broadening their inventories of signature brands in preparation for the influx of more Chinese tourists.

While there is truth that there’s nothing that China can’t produce, Joseph described this market as shopping fanatics.

“Chinese travelers splurge more on shopping during their travel outside of their home country. Now, Chinese travelers are more confident to travel to the Philippines more than ever,” Joseph said.