Cebu, with only a three percent growth in its tourist arrivals, dropped to second place in the top tourist destinations in the country as of the first quarter of the year, the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) quarterly report said.
Cebu came in second after Manila.
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Cebu had 435,087 tourists while Manila has 437,170 during the period. In 2009, Cebu was the top destination while Manila was third.
During the first quarter of the year, Manila’s number of tourists increased by 37.10 percent. The DOT credited the growth to more international and local meetings, congresses and conventions, as well as special events organized by major companies and organizations in the capital.
The opening of new spots in Manila like the Manila Oceanarium, the Newport Entertainment City and the visits of more cruise ships at Manila South Harbor also attracted more tourists.
In Cebu, top markets included Korea, with 28 percent; Japan, 23 percent; USA, with 10 percent; and China, six percent. Due to aggressive promotions by the DOT during the Chinese New Year in February, more than 1,950 Chinese visitors arrived in Cebu through 15 charter flights from Shanghai and Nanjing in China.
But the department is still positive on the growth potential for Cebu with more hotels and resorts opening up in the province.
DOT said Cebu will see growth in tourist arrivals as more flights are added and entrepreneurs offer more organized island tours and packages.
Innovative young businessmen are also improving existing tour packages like enhancing heritage tours to all allow tourists to experience the cultural and historical aspect of the city, the department said.
Other tourist destinations in the country also increased their tourist arrivals for the first three months. Camarines Sur became the third most frequented destination with 348,139 tourists, DOT said. American tourists still make up the biggest bulk of the market in Camarines Sur, with a 17.96 percent share.
The number of tourists going to Boracay Island, meanwhile, grew 20 percent to 190,094. Koreans still remain the major tourists in the island, with a 28 percent share of the market.
Puerto Princesa City, meanwhile, saw a 23 percent increase in foreign tourist arrivals as the DOT and its local government unit promoted the Puerto Princesa Underground River. The launch of the Puerto Princesa City and Busuanga flight also allowed more tourists between the destinations to visit more attractions in Palawan.
Bohol increased its tourist arrivals by 4.20 percent, with the Chinese accounting for 19 percent of the market.
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