East Asians buoyed tourist arrivals in CV
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - December 7, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines — Chinese tourists from Taiwan and China buoyed foreign arrivals for Central Visayas from January to May this year, pushing total growth up by 13.67 percent.

Latest record from the Department of Tourism (DOT-7) office revealed that the 16.3 percent growth of tourist arrivals from East Asia, specifically Taiwan and China, strengthened international arrival figures despite the series of travel advisories issued against some provinces in the region early this year.

Total foreign arrivals reached 1.12 million, a whopping 13.67 percent growth from the 986,772 last year.

East Asian visitors were composed of tourists coming from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea.

Arrivals from Taiwan registered the biggest jump with 85 percent growth, followed by  China with 68.86 percent.

Japanese arrivals only grew by 4.43 percent, a little lower than Korea's 5.99 percent growth for the period.

In an interview with Cebu Association of Tour Operation Specialists (CATOS) president Alice Queblatin, she said that while the entry of Chinese tourists to the Philippines is good for tourism, the country should brace for further influx.

Chinese and Taiwanese tourists travel in groups, and most of them do not speak English, and that tourism players here are still having difficulties in handling big groups with communication barrier as a big concern, Queblatin added.

Aside from East Asian tourists, Central Visayas also saw an impressive improvement of arrivals from ASEAN member countries with 14.94 percent growth.

Visitors from Laos made a surprising spike with 100 percent growth compared to the same period last year. Cambodian tourists followed with 95 percent growth.

On the other hand, travelers from Europe slowed down for the first half of the year. Southern Europeans (Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Union of Serbia and Montenegro) posted a negative 3.21 percent performance.

Likewise, a 3.16 percent decrease of arrivals from western Europe (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemberg, Netherlands and Switzeland) was also reported.

Overall, total arrivals to Central Visayas from January to May this year, registered a 2.05 percent drop. (FREEMAN)

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