DOT-7: 5.5M tourists visited Cebu in 2018

By: Michelle Joy Padayhag February 19,2019 - 07:58 PM

Chinese tourists are the second top visitors of Cebu for 2018. |Cebu Daily News file photo

CEBU CITY,  Philippines — Amid the travel warnings issued against southern Cebu in 2018, Cebu’s tourist arrivals increased by 14.33 percent or 698,849 tourists more than those in 2017.

In a data presented  by Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT-7) during a press conference at Best Western Plus Lex Cebu on February 19, Tuesday, Cebu’s tourist arrivals in 2018 reached to 5,575,896 which is higher compared to 2017 which only had 4,877,047.

In 2018, there were 2,805,115 foreign tourist arrivals and 2,770,781 domestic tourist arrivals in Cebu. 

Alice Queblatin, president of Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialists (CATOS), said that the travel warnings did not directly affect the tourism industry in Cebu.

“Cebu was really able to sustain if not improve the image,” Queblatin said despite media reports on travel advisories and killings.

The United Kindom (UK) issued A travel warning in 2018 against southern Cebu because of a terrorism threat. 

UK lifted the travel ban in southern Cebu early February 2019.

Despite the travel advisory,  travelers from UK increased by 16.11 percent in 2018. 

There were 57,456 arrivals in 2018, which is higher compared to 2017 with 49,484 arrivals. 

Tourism Regional Director Shalimar Hofer Tamano said that the 16.11 percent was still a good number.

“Kung wala siguro sila nagrelease og advisories last year basin ma 20 (percent) ni sila,” Tamano said. 

Read more: DOT-7: Water buses to help address traffic congestion in Metro Cebu

Top destinations

According to the Department of Tourism,  the top destination for domestic travelers in Cebu is Cebu City with 1,650,762 visitors.

For foreign travelers, their top choice is Lapu-Lapu City with 1,340,359 visitors.

“Cebu is really the giant and delivers not only in the region but in the country,” he said.

To be fair with other regions, Tamano said that the figures does not mean that they entirely stayed in Cebu.

“It is possible that they slept here for two nights, and then they went to Palawan.To be fair to other regions, basta nakatulog lang diri or nakagasto diri, counted na. That is how United Nations’ World Tourism Organization counts tourists,” Tamano added. 

For the entire 2018, Central Visayas had a total of 8,099,346 arrivals for both domestic and foreign travelers.

The number contributed P44.2 billion in the region’s economy. 

Average daily expenses for a domestic traveler is P1,200 per day while a foreign traveler spends an average of P6,597 a day. 

Top markets 

Koreans are still the top foreign visitors in Central Visayas with a 50.05 percent growth rate in tourist arrivals in 2018.

In 2017, the number of tourist arrivals from Korea was 895,776 while in 2018 the Korean visitors reached 1,344,154.

There are 188 flights per week from Cebu to Incheon, Busan and Muan in South Korea.

Next to Koreans are the Chinese visitors, who have a 44.88 percent growth rate.

There were 621,993 tourist arrivals in China in 2018 as compared to 429,306 in 2017.

China’s 12 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuxi, Hangzou, Shenzen, Chengdu, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Kunming, Sichuan, and Wenzhou have flights to Cebu. 

The other top foreign visitors in Central Visayas are Japanese, Americans, Taiwanese, British, Germans, French and Canadians.

The increase in tourist arrivals were attributed to more flights in coming in the region and the opening of the new Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 and the New Panglao International Airports, which opened in July 1, 2018 and November 27, 2018 respectively.

Cebu has 590 international and 1,496 domestic flights weekly as of January 30.

There is also increased of inter-island connectivity like additional trips in some ports like Getafe and Talibon in Bohol and Poro in Camotes Island./dbs

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TAGS: Americans, Cebu‬, Chinese, city, Japanese, koreans, lapu-lapu, Shalimar, Tamano, tourism

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