THE Chinese tourist boom in Cebu continues.
In 2019, the number of Chinese tourists who visited Central Visayas reached around 700,000, according to the estimates by the Chinese Consulate in Cebu.
The estimates, according to consular attache Jiang Wen of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, are based on national figures.
On average, the three regions in the Visayas combined accounted for about 40 percent of the total Chinese tourist count in the country.
In 2018, Chinese arrivals to Region 7 stood at 630,000.
Data from the Department of Tourism showed Chinese tourist arrivals in the Philippines from January to October 2019 hit 1.499 million, up 41.13 percent, making China the country’s second biggest source of foreign visitors after Korea with 1.609 million arrivals.
Mainland Chinese tourists are expected to continue to flock to Cebu, given the several direct routes available from Cebu to several Chinese cities.
There are currently 36 flights a week between Mactan-Cebu International Airport and several mainland Chinese airports.
Aside from tourism, Chinese Consul General Jia Li said economic and trade cooperation between the Philippines and China has continued to advance and cultural exchanges have been promoted.
“China is now the Philippines’ top trading partner, the largest source of imports and exports, as well as the largest source of foreign investment, and the second largest source of tourists,” Jia told a reception during the Chinese Spring Festival event in Cebu City on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020.
In the first 10 months of 2019, bilateral trade between China and the Philippines reached US$49.8 billion, up 7.2 percent.
“The newly added investment from China reached $33.4 million, a year-on-year increase of 45.7 percent. Chinese tourists to the Philippines exceeded 1.5 million, an increase of 41 percent year-on-year,” the consul said.
The year 2020 is the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China and the Philippines’ diplomatic relations. (CSL)