Korean airline sees steady stream of arrivals in Cebu
Carlo Lorenciana (The Freeman) - May 17, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Korean Air sees a steady growth of Korean arrivals in Cebu, most of them are visiting for leisure and study.

Jinki Park, the company's regional manager for Cebu, said Cebu is considered "one of the most sought after destinations by Koreans due to the warm weather, world renowned hospitality and above all the pristine white sand beaches."

"Korean arrivals comprise mostly of family vacation or leisure and honeymooners," the official told The FREEMAN, following the company's recent appreciation event for its top Cebu tour agency partners.

Park said Cebu has long been a ‘go to’ place for Koreans to study the English Language.

Amid the tough competition among airlines flying between Cebu and Seoul, the Korean flag carrier has held a fair share of the traffic growth.

"There are quite a few Korean carriers operating to and from Cebu thus competition is very tough," he said.

He noted the carrier also flies passengers to destinations in North America and Canada.

Moving forward, the Korean carrier further sees a bullish outlook on its Cebu operations.

"As far as we are concerned, our headquarters is still trying to check the likelihood of launching a new route from South Korea to Cebu," Park said.

"I have to highlight that there is a high competition here in Cebu local and foreign carriers alike. We will try to see in the coming months perhaps?" the official said.

Park pointed out that Cebu as a destination "is not a hard sell" being already widely known by Koreans in general.

"In addition, Cebu is just near to Bohol and these two destinations are a great travel package to Koreans with wide variety of travel adventures on the offerings," he said.

Foreign tourist arrivals in Central Visayas, where Cebu is a tourist hub, increased to 3.63 million in 2018.

Koreans accounted for 37% of the region's foreign visitor market, followed by China (17%), Japan (13%), Europe (10%) and North America (8%).

In particular, China is the fast growing source market for tourism in Cebu and the Central Visayas.

South Korea remains Cebu’s largest tourist source market but China has been growing faster.

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