China cites Cebu as ‘Best Honeymoon Destination’

06/12/2010 - CEBU CITY – Cebu’s bid to become the “Wedding Capital of Asia” got a big boost after the Chinese tourism agency described it as the “Best Honeymoon Destination” at the World Trade Fair 2010 in Shanghai, China.

“Being recognized as the best honeymoon destination says a lot about the beauty of Cebu, especially the beaches, resorts, and hotels,” said Department of Tourism (DoT) Senior Adviser Phineas Alburo in an interview Saturday.

Alburo raised optimism that the award will result in more honeymooners going to Cebu, especially foreign tourists who are on the lookout for an affordable wedding and honeymoon destination on a tropical island.

“Cebu has emerged from just being a beach destination. Being proclaimed as a honeymoon destination is a big step to luring more foreigners here. When these couples chose to wed here, they would surely bring their families,” said Mila Espina, who chairs the tourism advocacies of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In a statement to Manila Bulletin, the DoT said that Cebu was named as the “Best Honeymoon Destination” at the World Trade Fair 2010 in Shanghai, China, this week, which gathered about 500 trade buyers from tourism association, outbound travel agencies, a nd tour operators.

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 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 whom 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 he said.

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 cited 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.

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”.

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 3 to 4 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, the DoT said.
(Manila Bulletin)

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