Chinese tourists returning to Philippines—DOT


Boracay Island remains a popular beach destination for Chinese tourists. Photo by Don Lejano/

MANILA, Philippines—More and more Chinese are coming to the Philippines again following a slowdown arising from the deepening of the territorial dispute between Manila and Beijing over the Scarborough Shoal early this year.

Tourism Assistant Secretary Benito Bengzon Jr. said the Department of Tourism (DoT) observed a dip in the number of visitors from mainland China between May and October this year but they have been seeing an uptick in arrivals lately.

“There was a slowdown but the good news is, the charters are coming back,” said Bengzon in an interview with reporters.

Records showed that charter flights between Shanghai and Kalibo, suspended following the heightening of the dispute, resumed on Nov. 30 and the number of charter planes flying from various parts of China to main destinations in the Philippines have begun to pick up, Bengzon said.

He said that he expected charter flights from Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Nanjing to Kalibo, Aklan, the gateway to the country’s famous beach getaway, Boracay Island, and to Cebu would become more regular in the first quarter of 2013.

Each charter flight would bring Chinese tourists to the country by the hundreds, Bengzon said.

He said that while the number of Chinese visitors dropped in the middle of the year, the running total as of October remained “positive.”

“That’s because we have a very huge growth rate from January to April, which was close to 80 percent,” he noted.

Arrivals from China, the country’s fourth-largest tourist market, numbered 150,479 from January to June this year.

At the height of tensions in May, many bookings to resorts and hotels on Boracay from China were cancelled, prompting Air Philippines to suspend the thrice-weekly charter flights between Kalibo and Shanghai.

Although no official travel ban has been imposed by China, it was believed that government officials verbally directed travel agents to suspend bookings to the Philippines, Bengzon said.

Next year, he added, the DoT would continue to be aggressive in its marketing efforts in China by organizing more familiarization tours for Chinese travel agents and the media.

“We will also continue participating in major travel fairs in China and we will also continue to support the charter operators,” he said.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

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.

  • kilawon

    why do a lot of dumbass filipinos think that Chinese tourists are threat to our national security?  tourism is business ok ! pinoys should get out from their cave and start acting like a civilized people rather than being delusional, thinking that chinese are taking over our country!

    • daniboy2012

      hey…u kilawin turotot…read our history and do ur research ur serlf  ask about 100 real pinoys how they feel with these rats…..i guess ur not only dumbass, but ignorant fool…ur not fully aware what they are….do some reading before u even make a stupid comment!!!! 

      • kilawon

        how about pinoys, aren’t the majority of the filipinos living in poverty like rats? Lol ….we are talking about tourism u idiot , it’s business dumbass. I can tell ur just delusional bec of the spratly dispute… why dont u go back to ur squatter area and eat pagpag like the rest of the pinoys!

    • Pedring2

      Hoy Kilawin, You either have a vested interest in having the Chinks here or you are simply one of them.  I do not think you are a Filipino. A true Filipino loves his/her country above money. National security, honor, and integrity comes well ahead of money. We Filipinos don’t want a situation where you smelly Chinkos enter the country through our airports, linkup with local communists and steal the country from within. So if you are in my country and your loyalty is with the yellow peril, leave. Don’t wait for us to nab and put you on a rickety bamboo raft and push you out to sea.  And that is saying nicely! We have given you refuge from political and economic oppression and now stab us in the back. So go home, backstabber! 

      • kilawon

        “BI arrested 635 undesirable aliens in 2012″…..taiwanese tops one of them. so who looks stupid now!

      • Pedring2

        Nab Kilawin and deport him. He is an undesirable alien, persona non grata. Shameless Chinko!

    • Marlon Joseph

       di mo pa ba alam ang mga ginawa ng mga intsik sa bayan natin ha? ikaw ang dapat magising sa katotohanan. you must have been in the cave for a millenium since you don’t know what the chinese are doing against the Philippines.

  • randyaltarejos

    Were the Chinese tourists using the new passports or their old passports to enter the Philippines?

  • Rasputin Casanova

    kilawin, d pa masyado luto utak mo babad mo pa sa suka

  • Marlon Joseph

    ano ito pampalubag loob sa mga Pilipino para umatras nalang sa ating inaangking teritoryo?

  • Practicalandconcerned

    Are we still back to this…they can stay in china…and I thought they can’t enter with their new passport…

  • F

    there is no slowdown of territorial dispute, if anything, it escalated due to chinese incursions.

    we are so naive. chinese tourists go all over the world, not just the philippines. it just so happened that we are cheap and we have so many to offer to tourists. it is just a drop in the bucket compared to other countries. nothing to celebrate. go around the world so you can see.

    some come here to buy our natural resources to our disadvantage. we should be smarter.

    if they come here plainly as tourists, let us welcome and protect them. good for our country.

  • Frag

    I’d rather not have them here at all.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks




latest videos