Cebu Philippines, was named ‘Best Honeymoon Destination’ at the Awards Night, of the recent World Trade Fair 2010 held in Shanghai, China.
Maribago Bluewaters Beach Resort in Cebu
The win was declared after a public vote and a strict evaluation process undertaken by professional jurors from the Shanghai Tourism Municipal Administration, VNU Exhibitions Asia, and Shanghai International Conference Management Organization.
Tourism Secretary Joseph ‘Ace’ Durano welcomed the award as a well-deserved tribute to the country’s very own “Queen City of the South”.
“As the second most visited destination in the country, next to Metro Manila, Cebu continues to draw more people to add to the 435,987 tourists that it posted in this year’s first quarter. We are not surprised that more and more travelers, especially couples, are finding its pristine white beaches, romantic resorts and breathtaking views, coupled with the innate warmth and friendliness of our locals, a perfect treat for their honeymoon trip,” he said.
Regarded as the most famous integrated travel resource in China, the World Trade Fair brings together hundreds of participating countries and organizations all over the globe.
In attendance in this year’s expo at the Shanghai Exhibition Center were about 500 trade buyers from tourism association, outbound travel agencies and tour operators.
Added Durano, “For one of our provinces to be recognized at such a prestigious international event is a noteworthy indication of the country’s growing tourism charm among many travelers across the world. It also opens an opportunity to further promote our sites.”
At present, Cebu enjoys a steady influx of travelers, with top markets including Korea (28 percent), Japan (23 percent), USA (10 percent), and China (6 percent).
Apart from Cebu’s attractive sites and diverse excursion activities, Durano also acknowledged the country’s competitive tour pricing and the continuous development of the transportation sector as influential drivers of tourism growth in the island-province.
Arlene Alipio, head of DOT Team China, shared that charter flights from Shanghai to Cebu and Boracay have helped spur inbound travel growth to Cebu, “Convenience of travel makes tourists from China more likely to visit the island and take more time to enjoy their stay.”
Furthermore, she noted that regular flights to Cebu are also issued by Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific twice a day.
Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions Eduardo Jarque, Jr. expressed enthusiasm and pride over the recent award bagged by the country, calling it “an affirmation of the country’s world-class tourist spots and its unfailing efforts to reach out to new markets”.
Last year’s World Trade Fair, held also in Shanghai, had also been highly memorable and optimistic as the country clinched the “Most Popular Destination in Asia” award, the highest recognition given during the event.
Shanghai-based Philippine Tourism Attaché to China, Gerry Panga, said, “The Philippines has increasingly become a choice destination among its Asian neighbors as well as the world, owing to the relentless programs and campaigns that allow travelers to discover and fully appreciate our islands.”
While total China outbound travel grew only by three to four percent in 2009, outbound travel from Eastern China to the Philippines has been growing at an average rate of 40 percent in terms of visa issuances since the opening of the new Philippine Tourism Office in 2007.