Magpale: Chinese tourists to continue to visit Cebu

By Jessa Mae O. Sotto |August 09,2018 - 10:28 PM

Chinese visitors are expected to continue to explore and enjoy Cebu’s tourist spots as local officials and the Chinese Consul General have shown optimism that more Chinese tourists will visit Cebu this year. CDN FILE PHOTO

MORE Chinese tourists are expected to visit Cebu this year.

Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said this after she met with Chinese Consul General Shi Yong, who informed her that Chinese arrivals had been increasing, amid the spate of killings that happened in Cebu province recently.

“So far wala may advisory, then he (Shi) said adventurous man daw ang Chinese (So far there had been no travel advisory and that he (Shi) said that the Chinese are adventurous people),” said Magpale, co-chairperson of the committee on Tourism, in an interview on Thursday.

She said that the increase in the Chinese tourist arrivals had been felt in Cebu and that they had moved up as they were behind the Koreans, who still remained the top foreign visitors here.

Cebu Provincial Tourism Officer Joselito “Boboi” Costas earlier said that tourists arrival had increased to at least 17 percent from 2016 to 2017.

“We are always growing from that figure every year,” Costas said.

Last Tuesday, the Chinese Consulate of Cebu turned over their donated ambulance to the local government of Oslob.

According to Shi, the number of Chinese tourists in Region 7 have reached to 430,000 in 2017, four times higher than in 2015.

“The improvement and growth of the China-Philippines relations enjoys the support of the people and serves their well-being,” Shi said in his speech.

He also earlier said that that Chinese tourist arrivals in the region would continue to grow and that he was confident that Cebu continued to be safe for Chinese tourists.

“In fact now we have a very good communication with the regional police department and there has not been any attack on any Chinese tourists,” said Shi.

The Consul General said that for the last two years, reports on crimes on Chinese tourists had been limited to small time thievery and pickpocketing.

“I hope that the government can control these killing incidents, and I hope it will not affect the tourism in Cebu,” said Shi.

Aside from that, Shi also said that they had conducted programs between the local government in Oslob, such as putting up warning signs and direction boards with Chinese language translations on these signs.

Magpale, for her part, said they would require the PTO (Provincial Tourism Office) to conduct random drug testing to local tour guides and establish tourism information center.

“These successful programs set a solid foundation for our long term cooperation,” Shi added.

One other program that the Magpale would push would be to include the Anti-Sex Tourism ordinance in the tourism code, which would protect children from sex perpetrators.

“They cannot take pictures on children if they are not relatives,” Magpale said.

She also cited that they would provide trainings on disaster risk management to make tourism officers capable to respond to emergencies.

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