The Philippines tourism industry is coming under pressure a few weeks after China slapped a travel warning on the country. The Chinese government decided to issue the advisory due to security concerns and worries that Chinese nationals are specifically being targeted. CCTV America’s Barnaby Lo reports.
Philippines tourism affected by China's travel advisoryThe Philippines tourism industry is coming under pressure a few weeks after China slapped a travel warning on the country. The Chinese government decided to issue the advisory due to security concerns and worries that Chinese nationals are specifically being targeted. CCTV America's Barnaby Lo reports.
Clear, turquoise water, powdery white sand and a picture perfect golden sunset are just some of what the Philippines’ Boracay island has to offer. Over the years, it’s gone from a secret paradise to one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.
Boracay is considered the crown jewel of Philippine tourism. It’s been named as one of the best island resorts in the world by various travel magazines. Even during the lean season, it is never empty. A few months ago, you would likely bump into a Chinese tourists everywhere, but lately they have been arriving only in trickles.
That after China issued a travel warning against the Philippines due to a perceived security threat against Chinese people. Almost instantly, some 150 chartered flights carrying potentially 24,000 passengers were cancelled. Hotels like Alta Vista that cater to large Chinese tour groups saw occupancy drop from 250 to a 100 rooms a day.
“They are second in the number of tourist arrivals. It really affects the country. But then, I think there is only one case, or two, that I would consider isolated. They are more in the South. But then we always respect whatever decision they have. We just hope and pray this can be resolved as soon as possible,” said Dionisio Salme, President of Boracay Foundation.
The Philippines’ tourism department says the government has been exerting all efforts.
“In tourism, we have to be optimistic. So we’re of course hoping that it would be temporary. What’s important is that the Department of Foreign Affairs has made representation with its counterparts from the Chinese government and we’re hoping that the advisory will be lifted soon enough,” said Benito Bengzon, Jr. from the Department of Tourism.
For now, both the government and industry stakeholders are hoping and working on getting more visitors from other countries to experience the fun on thousands of the Philippines’ other islands.