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Arrivals up 44% in Cebu
June 3, 2007

Tourist arrivals in Cebu surged 44 per cent to 170,607 visitors in the
first quarter, according to a report from the Department of Tourism (DOT)

DOT 7 Director Patricia Roa said the growth in the number of Cebu's
tourist arrivals was even higher than the consolidated figure for the four
provinces in Central Visayas, pegged at 42 per cent. Roa lauded the
marketing efforts of Tourism Secretary Ace Durano.

"The bulk of the traffic, whether foreign or domestic, is Cebu. The
biggest share is really Cebu. Bohol only comes second. Cebu already has
everything. One good thing also that contributed to this growth is the
participation of the private sector as well as Secretary Durano's
marketing efforts," she said.

Korea topped Cebu's top 10 travel markets, with 63,582 Korean nationals
visiting the province from January to March this year, up dramatically
from last years 38,213.
Japan ranked a far second, with 38,611; the United States came third, with

Other countries in the top 10 included China, Taiwan, Australia, Hong
Kong, Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada. Roa said the increase in the
number of direct flights to Korea, Japan and other countries made a trip
to Cebu even more convenient.

Despite the influx of tourists, Roa said, Cebu coped fairly well as far as
accommodations were concerned. "For certain markets, it was hard to catch
up with the influx of tourists but generally, we have not experienced big
problems in terms of room accommodation. We are so happy with the booming
tourism industry in Cebu and Central Visayas and we expect more tourists
to arrive and visit our region," she said.

Alice Queblatin, president of the Travel and Tours Association in Cebu,
said the first quarter of the year had been very rewarding. Queblatin said
they had bookings not only from Asia but also Europe, particularly Russia.

"The first quarter is really known to be productive. We have big events
scheduled during this period such as the Sinulog in January. Pilgrimage
tours and the ASEAN summit also contributed," she said.

Queblatin said the period from November to March is known to be peak
season for international tourism, since many seek to escape cold weather
by visiting tropical destinations. PNA

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