Cebu City, officially the City of Cebu, is a 1st class highly urbanised city in the region of Central Visayas, Philippines. It is the fifth-most populated city in the nation and the most populous in the Visayas. It is the regional centre and primate city of Central Visayas and seat of government of the province of Cebu, but governed independently. The city and its metropolitan area exerts influence on commerce, trade, industry, education, culture, tourism & healthcare beyond the region, over the entire Visayas and partly over Mindanao. It is the Philippines' main domestic shipping port and is home to about 80% of the country's domestic shipping companies. The highest-ranked university outside Manila based on international rankings is located in Cebu City; the University of San Carlos.
Cebu is bounded on the north by the town of Balamban and the city of Danao, on the west by the city of Toledo, on the east by the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue and the towns of Liloan, Consolacion and Compostela and on the south by the city of Talisay. Located at the centre of the eastern seaboard of Cebu Island, it is the core city of Metro Cebu, the second largest metropolitan area in the Philippines by population & economy, which includes the cities of Carcar, Danao, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Naga and Talisay and the municipalities (towns) of Compostela, Consolacion, Cordova, Liloan, Minglanilla and San Fernando. Metro Cebu is the second-most populous metropolitan area of the nation.
The current political boundaries of the city is an incorporation of the former municipalities of Cebu, San Nicolas, El Pardo, Mabolo, Talamban and Banilad in the Commonwealth period.
Owing to its economic importance and influence in modern times, Cebu City is popularly called Queen City of the South. It is the "Second City" of the Philippines.
Cebu Island is listed oo Condé Nast Traveler's World's Best Islands rankings. The City and its island-province are often marketed as a single tourist destination, combining natural countryside scenery with urban attractions including cultural-historical sites and developing infrastructure. Tourism is one of the most important industries in the city; it remains as one of the most visited in the country by both domestic and foreign visitors.
Cebu City was recognised by the British Council as the Creative Capital of the Philippines. In 2019, it joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Design.
Ceboom, a portmanteau of Cebu and Boom, has been used to refer to the rapid economic development of both Cebu City and Cebu Province in the early 1990s.
With Cebu city's proximity to many islands, beaches, hotel and resorts, diving locations and heritage sites, high domestic and foreign tourist arrivals have fuelled the city's tourism industry. Due to its geographic location, accessibility by air, land and sea transportation, Cebu City has become the tourist gateway to Central and Southern Philippines. Its port, Port of Cebu, is the country's second largest seaport.
The city is a major hub for the business process out-sourcing industry of the Philippines. In 2013, Cebu ranked 8th world-wide in the "Top 100 BPO Destinations Report" by global advisory firm, Tholons. In 2012, the growth in IT-BPO revenues in Cebu grew 26.9 percent at $484 million, while nationally, the industry grew 18.2 percent at $13 billion.
Aboitiz Equity Ventures, formerly known as Cebu Pan Asian Holdings, is the first holding company from Cebu City publicly listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange. Ayala Corporation, through its subsidiary Cebu Holdings, Inc. and Cebu Property, both publicly in the PSE Index, developed the Cebu Park District where the mixed-used development zones of the Cebu Business Park and Cebu IT Park are located. Both master planned areas are host to regional headquarters for various companies in the banking, finance, IT and tourism sectors among others.
Shipbuilding companies in Cebu have manufactured bulk carriers of up to 70,000 metric tons deadweight (DWT) and double-hulled fast craft as well. This industry made the Philippines the 4th largest shipbuilding country in the world.
With a revenue growth rate of 18.8 percent in 2012, the real estate industry is the fastest growing sector in Cebu. With the strong economic indicators and high investors' confidence level, more condominium projects and hypermarkets are being developed in the locality.
The South Road Properties (SRP) is a 300-hectare (740-acre) prime property development project on a reclaimed land located a few metres off the coast of Cebu's central business district. It is a mixed-use development that will feature entertainment, leisure, residential and business-processing industries. It is registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and is funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation(JBIC). Traversing the property is a 12-kilometre (7.5 mi), four-lane highway known as the Cebu Coastal Road that provides the motorists with a good view of Cebu's south coast and the nearby island of Bohol.
Ayala Center Cebu is a shopping mall at the Cebu Business Park. More than 85,000 people visit this mall every day, with the figure increasing to 135,000 daily on weekends. A second mall located in IT Park was opened last December 6, 2019, dubbed as Ayala Malls Central Bloc.
Cebu is rated D by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. D cities are regional hub cities. Cebu was ranked #139 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Cebu has a population of over 922,611 people. Cebu also forms part of the wider Cebu metropolitan area which has a population of over 2,849,213 people.