Western Visayas is hoping to get a chunk of the around 1.5 million Chinese tourists expected to visit the Philippines next year.
Lawyer Helen J. Catalbas, in an interview Monday, said Western Visayas has natural attractions, seafood and branded shopping places to entice Chinese tourists.
The target, according to her, is around 300,000 Chinese tourists from the current 100,000 visitors.
As part of preparations, Catalbas said they have embarked on a Chinese Mandarin language training for tour guides in Aklan and Boracay.
“They have the most number of Chinese tourists. It will be followed by Iloilo and Bacolod,” she said.
Western Visayas currently has 35 accredited tour guides.
Catalbas also confirmed that there were talks of opening direct flights from China to Western Visayas.
“We have already been talking to several charterers, wholesale tour operators to charter flights from Guangzhou and Xiamen because these are nearer the Philippines,” she revealed.
With the closure of Boracay Island for six months, the Department of Tourism is eyeing to have 5.2 million tourist arrivals by the end of the year, a bit lower when compared with the 5.8 million in 2017.
She clarified that the region is “sticking to its original target” because last year, it exceeded its 5.1 million target arrivals.
From January – June this year, Catalbas said around 3 million tourists have already set foot in Western Visayas. (PNA)
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