BORACAY to miss mainland Chinese tourists

Due to Philippine boycott by Chinese travel agents

The tension between China and the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal has taken its toll on Philippine tourism as there would be mainland Chinese tourists this summer on the famous tourist island of Boracay.

In wake of the tension, Chinese travel agents said they would scratch off the Philippines from their list of tourist destinations.

Unfazed, President Benigno had said Philippine tourism can survive without the Chinese.

The Philippine News Agency reports that chartered flights from mainland China are the most affected by the suspension of tour packages to the Philippines, according to representatives of Chinese Travel Agencies at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Sunday.

Most of the affected chartered flights are from Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen, all bound for Boracay while the regular flights are not yet affected by the announcement, Shirley Lai, a travel agency representative at NAIA for 30 years, said.

Lai said she handles around 20-50 Chinese tourists a day, which have flight schedules of the affected chartered flights of Air Philippines, Cebu Pacific, and Zest Air.

She is expecting Chinese tourists on a package tour who are set to arrive on May 10, 11, and 12 for Boracay, but unfortunately the flights have been cancelled due to the announcement.

“Sana matapos na ang gusot na ito kasi sayang din ang pera na mapupunta sa gobyerno dahil lumalakas ang turismo dahil din sa mga Chinese na pumupunta sa atin,” Lai stressed, adding she is expecting the “worst to come” if the problem would not be resolved as early as possible.

Reports said Beijing International Travel Service and other travel agencies in China have halted all tours to the Philippines and stopped accepting bookings until the situation improves.

China recently told its citizens they’re not safe in the Philippines and its state media warned of war, as a month-long row over rival claims in the South China Sea threatened to spill out of control.

And the Chinese embassy to the Philippines earlier warned its citizens in Manila to stay off the streets during the planned anti-China protests which have taken place last Friday.

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