China, PH sign tourism cooperation deal
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and China signed a memorandum of agreement on the Implementation Program (IP) on Cooperation to push for bilateral tourism between the two countries.
In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said the agreement was signed by Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco with her Chinese counterpart People’s Republic of China Culture and Tourism Minister Hu Heping during the three-day China state visit of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“This Implementation Program with China will generate massive employment opportunities and investments across all sectors of tourism throughout the Philippines,” said Frasco.
“Our governments will work together on increasing tourist arrivals, resuming and adding direct flights to key and emerging destinations, joint promotional activities, and inviting tourism investments in infrastructure, among others,” she added.
Additionally, the IP also aims to realize the goals stated in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Philippines and China back in September 2002.
The DOT said that under the five-year cooperation, both nations agreed to support the exchange of its administrators and tourism professionals to strengthen their mutual development in the areas of hotels, resorts, cruise ships, ports, tourism products, and other related industries and competency standards.
It also covered the cooperation on tourism safety where both parties will make joint measures to guarantee the rights, interests, and safety of tourists visiting each other’s country.
Local travel businesses and tour operators will also participate in the IP by promoting the tourist offerings of both countries through promotional materials, highlighting key sights and locations, and fostering communication between the general public.
Collaborative seminars and training sessions will then cover the development of cruise/ports, the creation of tourism-related products and lake development, the comprehension of the tourism market and industry, search and rescue operations for the provision of first aid and security measures.
Apart from these, both countries have committed to organizing travel fairs, tourism exhibitions, and other promotional activities to educate the traveling public about their goods and services while also fostering awareness of environmental protection and sustainable development in the expansion of their respective tourism industries.
“Also among the salient points of this Implementation Program is to advocate the best practices and knowledge in sustainable tourism which includes the promotion of eco-friendly products and services,” said Frasco.
“We will also encourage investments in tourism infrastructure and support tourism enterprises of both countries to cooperate in the development of tourism projects in accordance with the current laws and regulations in each other’s countries,” she added.
A technical working group composed of officials from the DOT and China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China will meet at least once a year to further discuss the implementation covered in the agreement.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Marcos Jr. and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In 2019, the DOT said the Philippines recorded 8.26 million international visitor arrivals, where China placed second as the country’s top tourist market with a total of 1.74 million arrivals.
It is worth noting that China is currently facing a surge in COVID-19 cases following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.
This prompted several nations to require COVID-19 tests on travelers from China.
‘Not yet time’ to restrict arrivals from China – DOH
China’s COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t require border closures, DOH says
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.