Cebu Travel Bullish: 12 % Up - Chinese Tourists Visiting the Islands

Filipinos in South Korea
Paradise Island of Cebu, Central Philippines

More Chinese tourists seen visiting Cebu on better ties

The management of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport is bullish that the volume of Chinese tourists coming in the Philippines via Cebu will continue to increase this year, due to much-improved relations between the two countries.

GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. President Louie B. Ferrer said China has proven to be a significant market for the airport operator, as Chinese tourists now make up 12 percent of the total passenger count at the Cebu air hub from just 8 percent in 2015.  “China is a really an important market for us. Our focus is on China because of the opportunity of the Chinese market,” he said. “We expect a lot from the tourism side, and even businesses.”

Currently, there are two Mainland Chinese airlines flying in and out of Cebu: Xiamen Airlines and Sichuan Airlines.  “China Eastern has also signified its interest,” Ferrer said.

As such, the company is hoping that the Chinese government will set up an embassy in Cebu to further support growth in the Queen City of the South.

“Were also hoping to have visa on arrival for Chinese visitors,” Ferrer said.

GMR-Megawide is targeting to breach the 10-million passenger mark for the airport by the end of 2017. The airport clocked in a 11.5-percent increase in passenger volume to 8.9 million passengers in 2016, from 7.98 million passengers the year prior.  The Filipino-Indian joint venture started operating the airport in Mactan in November 2014, after winning the deal to modernize the existing facility while building a second terminal to support projected growth.

Slated to open in June 2018, Terminal 2 will increase passenger capacity to 12.5 million. The new terminal, spanning 65,500 square meters, will not only lessen congestion but will also offer an exciting and wide-ranging retail environment. The architectural design is inspired by Cebu’s island heritage. - Lorenz S. Marasigan Business Mirror

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