The country’s tourism program is expected to get a boost with the recent announcement of the Chinese government that it is granting the Philippines an "approved destination status" (ADS).
In a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Consul General Emelinda Lee-Pineda of the Philippine consulate general in Xiamen, China said the ADS designation will make it easier for Chinese tourists to travel to the Philippines.
Following the announcement by China, Pineda said she immediately met with the various travel and tourism agents in Xiamen to help promote the Philippines as a tourist destination.
Pineda said she was assured by the industry group that they will exert all efforts to attract different types of visitors to the Philippines by organizing special and diversified package tours.
She suggested marketing travel packages to Chinese women who may want to spend their vacation time in the Philippines shopping and visiting the beauty salons and spas.
Pineda also promoted the Philippines as an ideal destination for company-sponsored trips for employees.
Prior to the ADS designation, Pineda said, the consulate in Xiamen issued an average of 20,000 visas a year to Chinese travelers who generally go to Manila to visit their Filipino-Chinese relatives.
Besides the ADS, Pineda also said the direct flights from Xiamen to the Philippines also helps encourage tourists to visit the Philippines.
China has consistently accounted for major tourist arrivals in the country along with Korea, Japan and the United States.
Without the ADS, however, the Philippines stands to lose out to other tourist destinations because of the lack of tourism promotion, specifically by the Chinese government. — Marvin Sy