At the World Travel Fair 2010 Awards ceremony held in Shanghai on May 27, Cebu was voted the best honeymoon destination, as a “public-recognized honeymoon travel destination with sweet atmosphere and various entertaining facilities for couples.” The awards jury board included cultural and public celebrities, specialized media, tourism experts, consulting agencies, senior travelers, BBS hosts, and enthusiasts full of experience in the tourist industry.
The World Travel Fair Awards were established in 2008. The annual World Travel Fair itself gathered about five hundred trade buyers from outbound travel agencies, tour operators, and tourism associations. It is the most famous integrated travel resource expo in China.
China is not even Cebu’s top tourist market; there are more travelers coming from Korea, Japan, and the United States. Department of Tourism (DOT) secretary Ace Durano, who is from Cebu, said it is not surprising that couples think Cebu’s white beaches, romantic resorts, and breathtaking views are perfect for their honeymoons. He also mentioned the Philippines’ competitive tour pricing and development of the transportation sector as influential to the growth of tourism in Cebu.
Charter flights from Shanghai to Cebu and Boracay helped encourage travel growth to Cebu, according to Arlene Alipio, head of DOT Team China. DOT senior adviser Phineas Alburo indicated that he was optimistic about the award generating more interest from foreign tourists who want an affordable wedding and honeymoon destination on a tropical island.
Mila Espina, chairperson of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s tourism advocacies, commented that Cebu is emerging in public opinion not only as a beach destination but also a wedding and honeymoon destination.