THERE is a slight dip in the arrival of Chinese tourists in Cebu reportedly because of China’s economy, a tourist agency official noted.
Angelita Dy, president of Cebu Tours and Travel Association (CTTA), said they noticed a slowdown in the number of Chinese tourists coming to Cebu but with the numerous flights established, the Chinese tourism market will remain to be strong.
“There is a slowdown in the arrival of Chinese tourists in Cebu. However, the Chinese remain to be one of the strongest tourism markets because of the many chartered flights from China coming to Cebu,” she said.
“We have a very good relationship now with China but it’s reportedly their own money exchange that is down and I think this will affect their arrivals here. It’s according to my tourist operator there because they are the ones sending tourists,” Dy noted.
The trade dispute between the world’s two economic powerhouses, the US and China, continues to rock global industries. China’s slowing economic growth and weakening currency are also reportedly causing significant declines in Chinese spending.
Direct routes from Cebu
Latest figures show that China has the most number of international flights to Cebu.
Cebu has direct connections to 12 cities in the mainland such as Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuxi, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Kunming, Sichuan and Wenzhou.
In 2018, China was the second foreign source market in Central Visayas with 621,993 tourists, a 44.28-percent growth from 2017’s 429,306 arrivals.
Countries around the world are looking into China’s more than 1 billion Chinese population (as of 2017) as a potential market for tourism.
China’s outbound trips
According to a report, China recorded 149.72 million outbound trips in 2018.
The Philippines is among China’s top outbound destinations last year alongside Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, America, Cambodia and Russia.
Despite a slowdown in Chinese arrivals, Dy said they expect to see more arrivals from South Korea, which remains the region’s top tourist source market with 1.3 million arrivals in 2018.
Korean tourist figures remain stable, Dy said, because some choose to learn English in Cebu.
PH foreign arrivals
In the first five months of 2019, the Department of Tourism recorded 3.48 million foreign tourists, up by 9.76 percent compared to the same period in 2018.
South Korea remains the country’s top source market with 788,350 arrivals, followed by China with 733,769 arrivals, up by 30.96 percent.
The US came third with 472,469 arrivals while Japan landed the fourth spot with 281,988 arrivals, followed by Taiwan with 128,986 arrivals.
“The numbers are very encouraging. We are already close to breaching the 3.5 million mark this year. This only shows that the preservation of our environment can go hand in hand with economic gains,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat, in a statement. JOB with KOC