Why Cebu


Outlook in 2022
The Central Visayas Region (Region VII) is a group of islands at the center of the Philippine archipelago, between the country’s major islands of Luzon in the north and Mindanao in the south. It is bounded on the north by the Visayan Sea, on the east by the Camotes Sea, on the south by the Mindanao Sea, and on the west by the province of Negros Oriental.
Central Visayas is the second smallest region in the Philippines, with a total land area of 15,872.59 square kilometers (km²) or 5% of the country’s total land area. Owing to its strategic central location, it is a gateway for both people and products from the Philippines to the world. Despite its size, Central Visayas remains the 4th largest contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), after the National Capital Region (NCR), CALABARZON, and Central Luzon.
Region VII is composed of the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor. It has 16 cities, three of which are classified as Highly Urbanized Cities (HUCs) namely: Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu, 116 municipalities, and 3,003 barangays.
Central Visayas is one of the eight anchor tourist destinations in the country. While tourism stitches all four provinces, each has its own unique advantage. The strength of the region therefore lies in its diversity; what one province lacks, the other provinces in the region complement.
As of May 2020, the total population of Central Visayas was 8,081,988, representing 7.41% of the country’s total population. The population had grown by 1.88% from 7,396,898 recorded in 2015.Cebu Province (including the 3 Highly Urbanized Cities: Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu) has the largest population in the region. Its population of 5,151,274 represents 63.7% of the total population of Central Visayas. Cebu is also the fastest-growing province, with an annual population growth rate (PGR) of 2.26% from 2015 to 2020. Siquijor followed with a growth rate of 1.58%, and Bohol with 1.26%, while Negros Oriental posted the lowest provincial PGR of 1.18%.
Population Density
Population density refers to the number of persons per square kilometer of land.
With a total land area of approximately 300,000 km², the population density of the Philippines in 2020 was 363 persons per km², representing an 8% increase from 2015.
Central Visayas has consistently exceeded the population density of the country as a whole. Its population density of 509 persons per km² in 2020 surpassed the national population density of 363.
Among the region’s four provinces, Cebu (excluding HUCs) recorded the highest population density at 673 persons per km². For the HUCs located in Cebu Province, Mandaue City was the most densely populated with 14,461 persons per km², followed by Lapu-Lapu City with 8,565 persons per km². Cebu City registered a population density of 3,061 persons per km².
The global economy has yet to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its impact has been felt more on regional economies, like Region VII.
Central Visayas hosts a wide array of industries, including shipbuilding, Information and Communications Technology & IT-enabled services, electronics, wearables, food processing, marine products, houseware, and furniture, among others.
PSA data shows that Central Visayas ranked 4th in the regional share of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2022. The region’s GRDP grew by 7.6% in 2022 following a steep dive of 9.5% during the pandemic year. Services remain the top contributor to the region’s economy, constituting a 69% share, followed by Industry with 24.1%, and Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery (AFF) with 6.5%. (SOURCE: Philippine Statistics Authority)
The Philippines has been honored as Asia’s Leading Beach Destination for the sixth time during the 29th World Travel Awards in September 2022. The country also received this accolade in 2013, 2016, 2018, 2020, and 2021. It received its fourth citation as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination, which was also awarded in 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Central Visayas significantly contributed to earning these accolades for the country and has received its own share of best travel destination awards. Cebu was voted as one of the Best Island Destinations by Conde Nast in 2020 and one of the best islands in the world by New York-based magazine Travel+Leisure in 2022. Cebu is the only city in the Philippines that was recognized as 2019’s Top 100 City Destinations in the World by Euromonitor International.
Owing to its unique terrain, beautiful sandy beaches, and a new international airport in Panglao, Bohol is home to many of the top tourist spots in the country. Negros Oriental, known as the City of Gentle People, is a top diving haven and is also becoming a favorite retirement destination. Foreign nationals have been lured to the province due to its laid-back pace, a wide array of foreign and local cuisine, beaches, and dive destinations.
While the tourism industry is the tie that binds all of the region’s four provinces, Central Visayas also has a unique value proposition for investors, especially those seeking a healthy mix of business and pleasure. Its strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and skilled manpower are just a few of the reasons why Region VII is an ideal host for both investors and tourists. It is both an investment haven and a favorite tourist destination.
The Central Visayas Region experiences fairly predictable weather throughout the year, with temperatures typically ranging between 28-30 degrees Celsius (°C). The summer months between March and May are usually the hottest and most humid time of the year. The rainy season typically begins in June and extends through December.
Summer destinations within the region attract tourists unable to resist the allure of the sun and sandy beaches. Cebu has been voted multiple times by renowned international travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Bohol, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor each have their share of tourist spots that continue to attract both local and foreign tourists
Although Central Visayas has experienced its fair share of weather disturbances, it has demonstrated its resilience through remarkable recovery efforts after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in 2014, and super typhoons Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2014 and Odette in 2021.
Download the Central Visayas Economic Factbook (PDF)
Connect with Us
Today is the day to build the business of your dreams. Share your mission with the world — and blow your customers away.
Contact Us