Expecting an increase in tourist arrivals from nearby countries, Cebu's airport will be adding signs in foreign languages to help visitors navigate the airport.
According to the local Cebu Daily News, the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Group (GMCAC) will add directional signs in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese at both Terminal 1 and the new Terminal 2 at Mactan Cebu Airport.
"Traffic growth in Cebu will be driven to a greater extent by our visitors from China. This is an opportunity that we want to maximize," said Megaside Chairman and CEO Edgar Saavedra said in the report.
He added, "These new flights are the result of sustained airline marketing initiatives, and we will continue to work on opening more routes to provide Chinese tourists with even greater accessibility to Cebu and nearby destinations."
The new signage is added as the GMCAC expects that Cebu will welcome more than 11 million travellers this year, which has been attributed to the addition of new flights mostly China over the past few months. Of the 15 new destinations introduced to travellers from Cebu, 12 of them are direct routes to Chinese cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai.
GMCAC estimates that the top three sources of the total foreign travellers passing through Cebu were from Korea (40%), Japan (15%), and China (8%). The number of visitor arrivals from China is expected to increase due to the new routes being launched between the Philippines and China.
Cebu also welcomes flights from key regional cities such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, and Taiwan. Foreign travellers looking to go beyond Cebu can hop on 30 minute-1 hour flights to key Philippine attractions such as Boracay, Palawan, and Siargao.
Beyond Asia, Megawide has also been reported to be in talks with airlines from the Middle East, Australia, and Europe. In a report from The Freeman pubished on July 24, GMCAC chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah Harrison identified Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, and Finnair as airlines which could soon start services to Cebu during a recent summit in Cebu. Harrison was also said to be optimistic that Philippine Airlines would resume its Cebu-Los Angeles flights.
In addition to the new signage, the airport along with the Philippine Department of Tourism will produce videos showing the arrival processes and destinations in Cebu. The videos will be marketed through social media channels including China's largest social media app WeChat.
The efforts of GMCAC continues its campaign to promote the airport and Cebu as an attractive destination. While most travellers to the Philippines may end up arriving in Manila, more options to arrive instead at Cebu could be in the future. Mactan-Cebu Airport is already a prime alternative international/domestic hub in the Philippines, with a route network that is beginning to rival that of what is offered out of Manila.