Philippines eases entry rules for international tourists from China, India

Philippine authorities are planning to ease entry rules for international tourists, especially those from China and India.

Tourism Minister Cristina Frasco said government agencies must explore mechanisms to provide travel, including an electronic visa system, to further facilitate the travel process for foreigners,

According to the Inquirer, the tourism minister held a joint meeting with other agencies including the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Foreign Affairs, Justice and Immigration to discuss visa issues and the current travel situation, VisaGuide.World reported.

Frasco emphasized that, while acknowledging the achievements of the tourism industry last year, there are still bottlenecks that prevent the country from unleashing its full potential in terms of international tourism.

Overall, 58% of Indian tourists are repeat visitors, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT), underscoring the need to maintain and increase tourist arrivals.

The ministry noted that India is an important source market for foreign tourists.

“We are the only country that (yet) provides convenient e-visas for Indian nationals. This is a huge untapped market for the Philippines.” Frasco said in a statement.

At the same time, the department also highlighted the potential of the Chinese market, emphasizing that China was the second largest source of inbound tourists for the Philippines in 2019.

In addition, Frasco noted that more than 1.5 million visas were processed by Philippine posts in China in 2019, ranging from an average of 507 per post per day to a total of 2,704.

“In our low target of 500,000 Chinese coming to the Philippines, we need to issue 1,704 visas per day. If our target is 1 million Chinese entering the country, then we need to issue 3,409 visas per day.” she says.

The travel and tourism industry in the Philippines has been severely affected by the spread of the coronavirus and its new variants. According to data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), as of now, a total of 4,080,182 people in the Philippines have tested positive for the new coronavirus, and a total of 66,332 people have died during the same period.

However, despite such figures, Philippine authorities have managed to receive a large number of tourists. Furthermore, it was reported that revenue from tourism surpassed the country’s target of 1.7 million arrivals last year, receiving a total of 2.65 million international tourists.

>> Philippines to extend e-visa deadline for travelers from China, South Korea, Japan and India

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