CEBU was named among the top city destinations in 2019 in the world by global market research firm Euromonitor International.
Cebu landed on the 77th spot in Euromonitor’s Top 100 City Destinations 2019 report, 10 spots higher from a year before. From 2013 to 2018, Cebu climbed 51 spots in the ranking.
Cebu was the lone Philippine city on the list.
It was one of the notable climbers among the top 100, along with Indian cities such as Agra and Bangalore.
The report noted Cebu’s international arrivals rose 24.9 percent in 2018 to 2.8 million from 2.2 million in 2017.
Euromonitor projected this to have grown 26.2 percent last year to 3.5 million international arrivals.
In October 2019 alone, Cebu welcomed 131,217 foreign arrivals, becoming the country’s second busiest gateway for international visitors, based on data from the Department of Tourism.
While Cebu’s ranking improved, it is far behind its Asian peers Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau and Bangkok which all landed on the top 10.
Euromonitor’s research covers overseas visitors who stay longer than 24 hours and less than one year in over 400 cities around the world.
Arrivals include people travelling for business, leisure and to visit family or friends, but excludes those in employment or education abroad as well as military personnel, transportation crew, cruise passengers and people displaced by war or natural disasters.
“The top 100 cities continuously outperform the growth in world arrivals as tourism becomes a catalyst for innovation as well as a driver of socio-economic progress,” the Euromonitor report said.
“This has led to smart city developments encouraged by governments’ long-term tourism strategies and significantly increased investment in travel and tourism over recent years,” the research firm added.
The report noted global inbound arrivals are expected to grow by 4.2 percent to 1.5 billion trips in 2019, with the top 100 cities comprising nearly 47 percent of global arrivals and growing by 6.2 percent in the same period.
Hong Kong was likely to hold on to its status as the world’s most popular city with international visitors in 2019, despite months of political unrest that led to a sharp drop in tourist numbers. It is joined by other Asian cities in the top five such as Bangkok, Macau and Singapore.
The 2019 rankings were calculated using estimates based on part-year arrivals data.
The Euromonitor list shows that Asian tourism is booming. Asia continues to dominate the ranking, accounting for 43 of the top 100 cities, an increase from the 34 cities in 2013.
According to the report, travelers within Asia are responsible for much of the growth, as income levels rise and the numbers of Chinese visitors to other countries—as well as millennial travelers from around the region—increase.
Cebu, for one, is seeing this Chinese tourist surge.
Chinese Consul General in Cebu Jia Li had projected that more Chinese tourists visited the province in 2019.
In 2018 alone, the number of Chinese tourists who visited the Central Visayas region stood at 630,000, an increase of 45 percent.
There are over 30 flights a week from Cebu to several cities in China.