TOURISM stakeholders can enhance their packages for weddings, honeymooners and family reunions to cater to China which has been noted to have steadily grown since last year.
“They (Chinese) are very keen on destinations where they could spend quality time with their families and loved ones. We can further improve our packages to suit their preferences,” said Director Rowena Montecillo of the Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT-7) yesterday.
Montecillo made the suggestion after the Shanghai Morning Post, a newspaper in China, named the Philippines as the “Most Romantic Destination” for the Chinese.
She said that the country including Cebu had been receiving a good number of honeymooners and those who would come here for weddings in the past especially from the Korean, Japanese and European markets.
Former DOT regional director Patria Aurora “Dawnie” Roa agrees.
“This is a very good opportunity for us to grow the market. They have the money to spend and I believe that they (Chinese) will still travel despite the Spratly issue which is rather political,” said Roa.
It’s high time that we focus our tourism campaigns on beach weddings, honeymooners and family reunions to fit the Chinese market, said Consul Robert Lim Joseph, National Association of Independent Travel Agencies in the Philippines chairman emeritus.
“We have a lot of wedding planners here and many options for them in terms of venue for the activities. We can even highlight our Chinese Temples and the different restaurants that offer Chinese foods. We already have many things to offer, all we need is to promote,” said Joseph.
Joseph cited the resorts like Plantation Bay Resort and Spa and Shangri-la’s Mactan Island Resort and Spa as among the resorts which had already hosted many weddings in their property.
The Chinese market is a large market that we can’t just overlook because of its large population base of at least a billion, said Dominic Dorol, Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort and Spa director of sales and marketing.
They should be a priority market for the country and Cebu thus the recognition came in very timely especially that they are also now growing their Asian markets to diversify from mostly Korean tourists to a good mix of Asian markets including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia, Dorol said.
“The new generation of Chinese tourists are on the lookout for the next destination. These are both the young and experienced middle to upper class who have the means to travel and who’ve touched base with what’s the latest in the world. Hence, gaining any title such as being a romantic destination will surely bring in incremental revenue for the country,” said Dorol.
“Direct approaches can be done by way of doing regular tourism promotion activities to China tour groups or advertising in magazines and social media. We can also help promote the country or Cebu indirectly through business conferences, conventions, expos and trades giving special packages for local tours to see our various tourist spots,” said Prudencio Gesta, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president.
Cebu Business Club president Gordon Alan Joseph agreed with the suggestion.
He said stakeholders could market to individual and small group travellers.
“The romantic acknowledgement is fantastic and we can start developing professional Chinese speaking guides and Chinese tourist information desks and help desks to increase the attractiveness of the country. We can target markets and focus on their requirements,” said Joseph.
Ann Olalo, Radisson Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu director for sales and communication, said the hotel was expecting more Chinese tourists this year, especially during the first week of February for the Chinese New Year.