Boracay resorts hit by cancellations from Chinese tourists


The Boracay Regency hotel: Less revenues PHOTO FROM BORACAYREGENCY.COM

ILOILO CITY, Philippines—Resorts and hotels on Boracay Island have been hit by booking cancellations by tourists from China amid the ongoing standoff over the Scarborough Shoal.

The Department of Tourism in Western Visayas (DoT-6) has monitored cancellations of bookings for at least 65 rooms in four hotels on the island-resort since Friday, Tourism regional director Helen Catalbas told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a telephone interview on Sunday.

The reservations were mostly group bookings for packages for two-night/three-day stay and three-night/four-day stay.

China earlier suspended travel tours to the Philippines following the ongoing standoff over the disputed territory in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The suspension of travel tours from China prompted Air Philippines to suspend chartered flights between the Kalibo International Airport and Shanghai and Beijing.

Catalbas said the thrice-weekly flights to and from the two Chinese cities were suspended starting Friday.

“We hope this is going to be temporary and the dispute will be resolved through diplomatic means soon,” Catalbas said.

While China is the country’s fourth-biggest tourism market, it is the third-biggest market for foreign tourists in Western Visayas following Korea and the United States.

Last year, around 71,600 tourists from China visited Western Visayas, or an average of 6,000 tourists monthly. Of this number, 69,000 went to Boracay, Catalbas said.

Henry Chusuey, chairman of the Boracay Foundation Inc. (BFI), a group of business operators on the island, said the cancelations constituted 15 to 20 percent of expected tourist arrivals on the island.

He said the hardest hit would be hotels and resorts that relied on tourists from China constituting up to 60 percent of their bookings.

“It will mean lesser revenues for us but we cannot blame our government. We just have to work harder to attract tourists from other countries,” Chusuey, a Filipino of Chinese descent who owns the Boracay Regency group of hotels, said in a telephone interview on Sunday.

He said it was “important to show tourists from China that they are still welcome here despite the suspension of tour packages from their country.”

Tourists from China not traveling in tour packages have continued to come in, he said.

The DoT-6 is focusing on increasing its promotional efforts in other tourism markets especially Korea to offset the impact of the decline in tourists from China.

Catalbas said they would come out with promotional flyers and pamphlets in Korean language to cater directly to this market.

Tourist arrivals in Boracay were also affected due to cancellations in bookings of tourists from China and Hong Kong after the bloody Aug. 23, 2011, hostage-taking incident in Manila where eight Hong Kong tourists died in a botched police rescue attempt.

But the slack in tourists from the two countries were covered by local tourists and those from other countries.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Carl

    Fewer Chinese tourists = fewer drug pushers.

  • Votemeup

    Next they will claim they own Boracay 

    • focusrightly

      Malaysia already owns Sabah. What will you do to recover it?

      • Robert Huang

        Philippines is now Chinese Territory! Filipinos (Monkeys) Out Now! 

      • focusrightly

        I am not mad like you.

        You are an imposter attempting to antagonise Pinoys.

      • Robert Huang

         Why are you not so easily fooled? It doesn’t matter. Dozens have already fallen victim to my Grand Scheme. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • focusrightly

        To those poor souls….my sympathy.

      • Rare Earthling

        Mr. Robert Huang,

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        Next time, know how the system works, ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

        God Bless Mr. Huang a.k.a. as RobertCHui, HuangLung, FILIPINOSareMONKEYS, Viva al qaeda, Death_to_american_apes, kill_all_white_people etc.

      • Leonguerrero

        Mabuhay Ka @tolome:disqus ! Thanks for showing us the way. Now its time to put a stop to cyber bullying as well.

      • Rare Earthling

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        Prieto, Paolo
        Inquirer Interactive Marketing USA, Inc.
        355 Gellert Blvd.
        Suite 255
        Daly City, CA 94015
        650-991-5699 fax: 650-991-5698

        PDI is hosted in USA, it can be held liable for tolerating such behavior. Actually siya dapat nagrereport nito to the authorities since PDI has all the infos. IC3 is working with the FBI

      • Andrew Pc

        Just ignore this korean, south korean to be exact. He is just out to instigate racial hatre

      • JuliaLi

        Andrew Pc, you made me smile :) you are so adorable…

        Yes, just ignore him, cause he doesnot know what he is talking about

      • Devil Deals Manila

        people are free to say what they want… even if robert is an idiot and making nasty comments, we live in a world with freedom of speech so you would be wasting your time as its not illegal to express your opinion. His opinions are wrong and immature but the best you can do is ignore people like him.

    • prangka

      It’s good no Chinese tourist in Boracay island. The beauty of this place would warrant the attention of the Chinese government and one day lay claim as part of their lost islands and showing of “old maps” saturated in coffee( to make it look old).

    • Johnlove

      Nope they won’t, because claiming Boracay would mean confronting US.

  • thomas

    deport them all

  • rock_steady

    BOYCOTT HK and China. Stop Buying CHina made products!

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