Philippines’ hopeful of deal with China to boost tourism

 Friday, January 27, 2023 


The Philippines’ Department of Tourism recently signed n agreement with its Chinese counterpart with an aim to recover the country’s international visitor numbers to pre-pandemic levels. This comes in the wake of the Chinese government’s relaxation of stringent Covid rules late last year, which could pre-empt a wave of Chinese visitors.

The Implementation Program on Tourism Cooperation, signed this month with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, aims to push for bilateral tourism cooperation between the Philippines and China.

Under the five-year cooperation, both countries have agreed to encourage and support the exchange of their respective administrators and tourism professionals in order to strengthen the mutual development in the field of hotels, resorts, cruise, port, tourism products, and other related industries and competency standards.

With the reopening of The Philippines’ borders in February, 2022, the tourism department surpassed its 1.7 million international visitor target by year-end, reaching 2.65 million. This represented US$3.68 billion in tourism revenue. The Philippines’ overall global tourist numbers of course plummeted during the pandemic, dipping to less than 164,000 in 2021.

In 2019, the Philippines recorded 8.26 million international visitors, with China placed second as the country’s top tourist market with a total of 1.74 million arrivals.

The Department of Tourism is targeting 4.8 million international visitors in 2023 as its baseline but Philippine Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco detailed that she remains hopeful that the department will again surpass its targets, as it did in 2022.

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