MANILA, Philippines – Many travel agencies in China have suspended tours to the Philippines amid a prolonged standoff between both countries in the disputed Scarborough Shoal, the BBC reported Thursday, May 10.
Quoting Xinhua news agency, the BBC said the Chinese travel agencies would also “adopt precautionary measures to ensure safety of their clients” now in the Philippines.”
Filipinos have scheduled protests against China on Friday, May 11. The protests will be held in front of Chinese embassies in key cities around the world.
This has agitated China, which warned that such activities could only worsen the standoff.
Key tourist market
China is the Phiippines’ fastest growing tourist market. Of the 1.148 million tourists that visited the Philippines in the first 3 months of 2012, the 96,455 tourists from China reflected a massive 77.53% increase.
In 2011, China was the 4th top source of tourists for the Philippines. The 243,137 Chinese tourists accounted for 6.21% of the total 3.92 million tourists that visited this Southeast Asian nation.
Banking on its new campaign strategy, the mostly crowdsourced “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” the Department of Tourism has set a target of 4.2 million tourist arrivals this 2012 and 10 million by 2016. – Rappler.com