Philippines expects to welcome back Chinese tourists

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Manila, Philippines – Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Frasco said that the Philippines is looking forward to welcoming Chinese tourists back to the country.

In her New Year message Sunday, Frasco said that the Philippines is looking forward to the Chinese market’s significant contribution to the recovery and resurgence of the Philippine travel and tourism industry.

“We gladly welcome back our Chinese friends to the Philippines’ award-winning and emerging tourist destinations,” the DOT secretary said.

The Philippine and Chinese governments have earlier committed to strengthen tourism cooperation, vowing to bring back pre-pandemic levels of tourist arrivals as well as resuming direct flights between Manila and Beijing.

This comes after the signing of the Implementation Program of the Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Cooperation for 2023 to 2028 between the Department of Tourismm and the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism last January 4.

The said pact was signed during the state visit of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and his meeting with People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping.

Frasco said that the deal further emphasizes further the importance “with which we view people-to-people relations and cultural exchanges between our two nations and will only serve to enhance our mutual goals for tourism development.”

The tourism secretary said that the rabbit symbolizes longevity, peace and prosperity.

“As we usher in this New Year with hope and optimism for the tourism industry, we look forward to a stronger partnership and collaboration with the Chinese community nd the stakeholders the year ahead,” Frasco said.

The DOT aims to attract some 5 million foreign tourists this year. About 2.6 million tourists have visited the Philippines last year, exceeding the government’s 1.7 million target.

In 2019, the Philippines recorded 8.26 million international tourist arrivals where China ranked second as the country’s top tourist market with 1.74 million total arrivals.