DOT bullish over 5.80 million tourist target for CV

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva November 02,2016 - 09:09 PM
White sand beaches in Sta Fe Bantayan Island.(CDN PHOTO/TD)

White sand beaches in Sta Fe Bantayan Island.(CDN PHOTO/TD)

THE Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT-7) is confident it can meet its target of welcoming 5.8 million tourists this year with more airlines opening direct routes to the region.

DOT-7 officer in charge Judy Gabato said this in line with an earlier pronouncement of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo that DOT aims to hit the national target of 10 million tourists arising from the additional direct flights to Visayas and Mindanao.

“We are confident that we will achieve our target of 5.8 million tourists,” she told Cebu Daily News.

Teo earlier sealed a deal with low-cost Japanese airline Vanilla Air during her trip to Tokyo last month.

DOT, in a statement, said Vanilla Air is set to offer flights from Narita International Airport in Tokyo to Mactan-Cebu International Airport starting Christmas Day, Dec. 25.

“Immediately, the dealindicated profitable results as Vanilla Air disclosed that all seats for the maiden flight have been nearly sold out,” DOT said.

This development is seen to bring more Japanese tourists to the region, who currently ranked second in Central Visayas in terms of volume with 198,796 from January to July this year, data from DOT-7 showed.

Korea remains to be the top market with 465,682 tourists, China at third with 134,264, and the USA at fourth with 117,552.

Based on the partial DOT-7 report, Central Visayas welcomed 3.16 million tourists within the first seven months of the year. The data used were from tourism establishments across the region.

At 2.3 million, Cebu comprised the bulk of regional tourism arrivals, followed by Bohol at 402,246, Negros Oriental at 402,405, and Siquijor at 54,788.

Gabato said they also encouraged accredited tourism stakeholders to join sales missions and travel fairs to different countries organized by the DOT-Market Development Group and Tourism Promotions Board.

This way, more tourists can be directly convinced to come to the Philippines, she said.
But Edilberto Mendoza, president of the Cebu Association of Tour Operators (Cato), said the opening of more direct flights to Visayas and Mindanao is not the only factor that may help the industry meet its targets.

“This will still depend on the market it is serving and our tourism promotions as our Asian counterparts are also opening their doors to the intl market,” he said.

Mendoza added there is a need for more aggressive promotions, improve tourism infrastructure to encourage visitors to come back, and come up with attractive programs for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) market.

Aside from engaging Japan, Teo also signed an agreement on behalf of the DOT with China Eastern Airlines to offer chartered flights from Guangzhou, China to Laoag City, Ilocos Norte starting Nov. 1.

This development resulted from the recent trips of President Rodrigo Duterte to China and Japan, where he secured billion of dollars in investment deals.

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TAGS: bohol, cato, Cebu, Cebu Association of Tour Operators, Cebu Daily News, Central Visayas, Conferences and Exhibitions, Department of Tourism, Department of Tourism in Central Visayas, DOT, DOT-7, flight, flights, incentives, international, Judy Gabato, Mactan, meetings, MICE, Mindanao, Narita, Narita International Airport, Tokyo, Vanilla Air, Visayas

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