It’s more romantic in PH, ask China


ROMANCE IN SAILS Tourism department’s latest ad on one of the fun ways for tourists in the Philippines CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

It’s more romantic in the Philippines. Just ask China.

Despite the still unresolved dispute over territories in the West Philippine Sea, China seems to be getting chummy with the Philippines on the tourism front. Romance is in the air.

The Philippines was named the Most Romantic Destination in a consumer poll of  Shanghai Morning Post, a daily circulated in one of China’s most densely populated cities, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.

In a statement, the DFA said Consul General Charles Jose received the commendation from Liu Sha, the newspaper’s editor in chief, in ceremonies at the upscale Shanghai Peninsula Hotel on Jan. 15.

The recognition came just as the Department of Tourism (DOT) launched its romance-pegged advertisement titled “Lovers,” a spin-off from the popular “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign, featuring Boracay Island in Aklan province.

Other country winners during the Shanghai awards include Australia for Best Tour Destination for Discovery, Switzerland as Best Shopping Paradise, Korea as  Best Skiing Destination and Germany as Best Destination for Art Appreciation.

A week ago, the Philippines was also named one of the world’s top tourist destinations by Oriental Morning Post, a Chinese financial newspaper.

Best tourist destination

Jose also received the Best Tourist Destination award on behalf of the Philippines at the World Travel-Special Trips Awards held in Shanghai, where top media and travel trade personalities gathered.

The Philippines won the award along with Ireland, Finland, Korea, Singapore and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, also based on a consumer survey conducted by the newspaper.

The awards give the Philippines renewed hope in raising Chinese tourist arrivals following a decline in 2012. The DOT has said total arrivals from China is expected to be below 200,000, far from the target of 450,000.

In 2011, nearly 250,000 Chinese tourists visited the Philippines.

The decline is mainly attributed to the country’s new procedure where Philippine visas for Chinese applicants are not stamped on their passports and instead stamped on separate forms.

More flights to China

The DFA implemented this procedure in December in protest of China’s release of new e-passports bearing a map that included disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea within China’s sovereign territory.

The DFA is expecting more Chinese tourists to travel to the Philippines during the winter season in China and the Chinese New Year in February.

“Several Philippine carriers have relaunched their flight services from China to the Philippines to cater to the growing demand of Chinese travelers for short-haul beach holidays,” said the DFA.

In November last year, Airphil Express resumed charters between Shanghai and Kalibo, the gateway to the world-renowned beaches of Boracay.  Zest Air also increased the number of flights between Shanghai and Manila last month.

Manila is also directly accessible via flights from Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Jinjiang and Guangzhou.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Tart

    more romantic? so, we are expecting influx of alien  “from China” this valentine season?

    caveat: with the influx of aliens, we must be aware kung “anu-ano” ang mga magiging dala ng mga ito, kapag pupunta sila dito.

    • kismaytami

      Shabu at pera para magtayo ng shabu lab sa mga exclusive subdivisions dito.

  • Cynthia


  • w33k3nd3r

    Wanna know our secret to being a romantic country, China? We’re not communists!

  • kismaytami

    Filipina to foreigner: Marry me!

  • Guill Marc

    Reading some of the pessimist comments sadden me. The time has come for all Filipinos and all
    people who love the Philippines everywhere to stop agonizing over the so
    called bad image of the country. When we have enough people who will
    take it as a matter of responsibility, loyalty and or even
    as a plain matter of love to talk about the good things about the
    Philippines, we will balance out the picture and the truth will emerge
    that the Philippines is as worthy to visit amongst the other countries
    in the world. We as united Filipinos, are our nation’s prime
    ambassadors. Together we stand and move forward with our beloved
    Philippines. Stop dragging your own country down, be of help in uplifting it for a change instead.

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