China – Philippines tensions touch tourism
Tensions between the Philippines and China were re-ignited last month when the Philippine Navy tried to prevent Chinese fishing vessels from fishing in the Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc). China thereafter sent “government vessels” to the area. The standoff continues with the two countries’ vessels refusing to budge from their positions.
In a fax “emergency notice” to its travel agents dated May 9, the Beijing Xinhai Charterer said, “Due to recent emergency situation between the Philippines and China, and for the security of passengers, from Beijing to Kalibo and vice versa will be stop effective May 12, 2012. Resume of flight will be base on the situation.
On May 10 several Chinese travel agencies were reported to have suspended trips to the Philippines on safety concerns of its clients, anticipating the political and civil-society organizations’ protest action against China the next day.
And now, hotels and resorts in Boracay, Cebu and Bohol are reporting cancellations in bookings from China, as tensions continue.
Cebu Pacific, Zest Airways and Airphil Express suspended their charter services to and from several destinations in China on May 12, in the wake of the canceled trips by Chinese tourists.
This looks more and more like an economic war, doesn’t it.