Cebu City Tourism Commission on suspension of VUA issuance to Chinese tourists: ‘It’s for our safety’
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Tourism in Cebu City will not suffer a huge blow even after the announcement of the suspension on the issuance of visas upon arrival (VUA) to Chinese nationals.
This was the statement of Commissioner Jocelyn Pesquera of the Cebu City Tourism Commission after the Bureau of Immigration on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, suspended the issuance of VUA to Chinese nationals nationals in the wake of the 2019-nCoV threat.
Pesquera said that the Chinese are the third biggest group of tourists in Cebu following South Koreans and Japanese, who lead the tourist groups by a huge margin.
“We have to understand [the decision] because that is for [our] safety,” said Pesquera.
Although Pesquera could not provide numbers for the arrivals of tourists in the city according to their nationality, she told CDN Digital that based statistics from the Department of Tourism (DoT), the ban on Chinese tourist will only slightly affect the general tourism sector.
Pesquera said, though, that travel agencies catering particularly to Chinese tourists will be the ones to feel the blow of the ban, but this cannot be avoided since the 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continues to threaten the safety of the public.
Despite the threats of the novel coronavirus, Pesquera urged the public to be respectful to Chinese tourists and nationals who are already in Cebu.
She said locals should not be rude to these tourists because it will reflect poorly to the image of the city.
She urged the public to remain respectful but also vigilant by wearing masks, practice regular handwashing, and boosting ones immune system. /bmjo
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