DOT, CEB Seek More Korean Tourist Arrivals With Yeosu Expo

MANILA, Philippines --- The Philippines' largest national flag carrier, Cebu Pacific (CEB) has partnered with the Department of Tourism (DOT) in the ongoing Yeosu Expo 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea, which runs until August 12, 2012.

An airline partner of the Philippine Pavillion, CEB shows its full support to tourism efforts by providing tickets, tour package rates and exposure to expo organizers, talents and travel agents throughout the three-month expo duration. It operates thrice daily flights from the Philippines to Seoul (Incheon) and eight weekly flights to Busan.

"As our top source of visitor traffic, the Korean market is of utmost importance to the Philippines' hospitality industry. Koreans accounted for nearly a quarter of the archipelago's tourism arrivals last year and they have been our number one market since 2006," said Department of Tourism Secretary Mon Jimenez.

DOT reports indicate that 925,000 Koreans visited the Philippines in 2011, a 25% increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, CEB flew more than 380,000 passengers to and from South Korea, a 51% passenger increase compared to 2011.

"The Yeosu Expo has a marine sustainability theme, which is perfect for the Philippine islands' inherent wealth in coastal and marine treasures. We are investing in a principal site in the Pacific Ocean Zone to best capture over 80,000 average daily expo visitors," added Jimenez.

DOT's Yeosu Expo participation is just one initiative to reach 2 million Korean arrivals by 2016. CEB seat sales as low as 50% off, lowest year round air fares as low as KRW99,000 (P3,999), and creative tour packages, also play a part in stimulating travel to the country.

"Despite their relative affluence, Koreans appreciate value-for-money fares in their purchase of air tickets. Similarly, the proliferation of Korean operators and establishments is bringing down rates that appeal to even more travelers," Jimenez said.

CEB, for its part, highlights various Philippine destinations to Yeosu Expo visitors, such as Busuanga (Coron), Cebu, Boracay, Bohol, San Jose (Apo Reef), Dumaguete (Apo Island), and Puerto Princesa (Tubbataha Reef).

"The Cebu Pacific team is excited to work closely with DOT and other government agencies in promoting the Philippines' world-class dive sites and island destinations. It will also continue to offer the lowest fares from South Korea direct to Manila and Cebu so more Koreans can visit and explore the country," said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog.

CEB currently operates 10 Airbus A319, 20 Airbus A320 and 8 ATR-72 500 aircraft. Its fleet of 38 aircraft - with an average age of 3.6 years - is the largest aircraft fleet in the Philippines. Between 2012 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 22 more Airbus A320 and 30 Airbus A321neo aircraft orders. It is slated to begin long-haul services in the 3rd quarter of 2013.

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