AFTER Sinulog, tour operators in Cebu are hoping for a banner Lunar New Year holiday in terms of tourism and sales as they expect more Chinese guests to arrive in Cebu for the Chinese New Year (CNY).
Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialists (Catos) president Alice Queblatin said they expect charter flights from China to Cebu starting next week to be mounted by airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Eva Air, and China Southern averaging three times a week.
This cover the routes Cebu-Taipei, Nanjing, Wenzhou, Hangzhou, and Chengdu.
CNY charters, according to Queblatin start from Jan. 31 all the way through Feb. 19.
A charter flight is an unscheduled flight that is not part of a regular airline routing.
Queblatin though has yet to know the estimated number of guests from China arriving for CNY as it will be dependent on the aircraft that these airlines will use.
CNY 2019 falls on February 5 and the festival will last for 15 days or until February 19.
The year 2019 is a Year of the Pig, according to Chinese zodiac.
Queblatin said Chinese guests arriving through chartered flights are mainly handled by Chinese travel agents with Manila tour operators.
Cebu, she said, stands to benefit from this big volume of foreign guests as their standard itineraries focus on island hopping in the southern areas of Cebu such as Oslob, Moalboal, Alegria, Badian and a countryside day tour in Bohol.
In Cebu, Queblatin said they go for whaleshark watching, snorkeling, and sardine run, waterfalls, and other adventure-related activities.