PH welcomes Chinese tourists; sees faster tourism recovery
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines welcomed around 190 Chinese tourists on Tuesday, celebrating the Chinese New Year.
With this, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is expecting a quicker tourism recovery with the volume of Chinese travelers.
“The arrival of Chinese tourists to the Philippines signals a very auspicious start to the New Year and indicates a positive result of President Bongbong Marcos Jr.’s state visit to China to further the relations between our countries,” Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said in a statement.
“We anticipate even more Chinese tourists to arrive, which will greatly help us in our efforts to transform and to recover the tourism industry as our intention is not only to regain our pre-pandemic numbers but to exceed it knowing how the relationship between the Philippines and China will only further improve in the years to come with the stance of both our governments,” she continued.
The Philippines is the latest country to welcome Chinese tourists after China lifted restrictions to outbound trips of its nationals.
The Philippines and 19 other countries were identified by China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism to be part of its pilot areas for outbound tourism group tours.
“We believe that with the development of our tourism cooperation that there will be a growing number of Chinese tourists coming to the Philippines to enjoy the beauty of this country,” said China’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Xilian, for his part.
“The recent state visit of President [Marcos] to China, both presidents of China and the Philippines have agreed to make people-to-people exchanges as one of the four already areas of cooperation, and of course, during the visits, our tourism cooperation was actually signed so I think that today’s event is also one of the measures to implement the agreement reached by our two leaders,” he added.
The Chinese tourists were aboard Xiamen Airlines flight MF819. They arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 at 4:55 p.m.
Frasco, Huang, Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Cesar Chiong, and Xiamen Air General Manager of Manila Office Yan Tan welcomed the travelers.
Leis and gifts were given to the visitors.
In 2019, China was the second nation with the most visitors in the Philippines. Out of the 8.26 million all-time high arrivals that year, 1.7 million were from China.
Chinese tourists, however, declined due to prohibitions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
An upward trend of arrivals, the DOT said, is observed as China ranked 10th in terms of international tourist arrivals as of Tuesday, January 24.
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