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May 21, 2008

Arrivals in Cebu up 7.44% in Jan-Feb

The Department of Tourism (DOT) reported a 7.44 percent increase in visitor arrivals in Cebu from January to February this year from the same period last year.

DOT records also show there was an 8.85 per cent increase in foreign travelers and 6.25 percent growth in domestic travelers coming to Cebu for the first two months of the year.

Comprising the increased numbers include 127,561 foreign travelers and 147,638 local visitors or a total of 275,199 visitors.

For the same period in 2007, there were only 256,146 visitors, the sum of 117,187 foreign travelers and 138,959 domestic visitors.

"Our focused marketing is paying off and the results of more chartered director flights are showing. Cebu is becoming very well known as a good and ideal tourist destination," said Tourism Undersecretary Phineas Alburo.

Koreans remain the top tourist market of Cebu, although their number dropped 14.71 per cent from 41,828 in 2007 to 35,677 in the first two months of this year.

Alburo said Cebu is already very well known in Korea. He attributed the slight decrease to be the result of Koreans visiting other provinces in the country that are recommended to them before making their stop in Cebu, which the DOT expects in the next few months.

There is also a 42.95 percent decrease in the number of tourists coming from other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries, namely, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

DOT records also show Cebus potential as a magnet for domestic travelers and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) since the number of visiting OFWs grew to 1,961 from 447 in 2007.

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