Cebu is one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines. Cebu’s warm hospitality, its rich cultural and historical ambiance, white sandy beaches and surrounding rich coral reefs make it a favorite tourist destination among both international and local tourists.
In 2012, the Department of Tourism (DOT) recorded at least 2 million in tourist arrivals as compared to the 1.5 million tourists recorded last 2011. Foreign arrivals to Cebu increased by 13.65 percent while domestic arrivals went up by 9.26 percent. The DOT expects that at the end of 2013, total tourist arrivals are projected to between 2.6 million to 2.8 million.
The Sinulog festival is an event where most tourists would visit Cebu. It is a festival in honor of the child Jesus (Santo Nino) with the street dancing, comparable to that of the mardigras, as the highlight of the festival. It is always a lucrative time for the hotel sector and even pension houses in Cebu because this is the time when occupancy rates are at its highest.
Cebu has a wide variety of hotel accommodations ranging from luxury deluxe class hotels to back-packer dormitories. Notable hotel chains in Cebu include Radisson Blu, Marriot, Movenpick, Marco Polo, Waterfront, Day Inn and Shangri-La. As of 2012, Cebu City has 141 hotels with 9,335 rooms. Hans Hauri, the president of the Hotel, Resort and Restaurants Association of Cebu states that the 61 percent average occupancy across Cebu shows the stability of the sector. Moreover, room supply increased by 11 percent in 2012 and is expected to increase in 2013 with 500 more rooms being built.
With the strong tourism sector, the province of Cebu is positioning to become a venue for meetings and conventions, which resulted in the construction of the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC). It is a multi-purpose facility in a three storey structure with a floor area of 28,000 sq. metres situated on a 3.8-hectare land in Mandaue City . The convention center features an international media center, a large plenary hall, an exhibition hall, and several meeting rooms. The CICC has definitely boosted the appeal of Cebu as a Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibits (MICE) destination.
A. Top International Visitors (2012):
3. Chinese (People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan)
4. Europeans (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland)
6. Others (ASEAN, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, Middle East)
A. Notable tourist destinations:
1. Santo Niño Shrine
2. Magellan’s Cross
3. Cebu Taoist Temple
4. Cebu Tops
5. Lapu-Lapu Monument
6. Scenic beaches around Cebu
7. Old Churches
8. Various Museums