DOT targets Korea, US, Japan markets amid new Chinese visa rules

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism on Friday said that it will continue its efforts in attracting other tourist markets aside from China following the Department of Foreign Affairs’ imposition of additional requirement for Chinese citizens applying for a temporary visitor's visa.

Last June 13, the DFA required Chinese nationals applying for a temporary visitor’s visa to submit their Chinese Social Insurance Record Certificates, which are registered for at least six months at the time of the submission of visa application.

In an interview with the press at the sidelines of the Philippine Tourism and Hotel Investment Summit 2024 on Friday, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said that the imposition of more requirements for visa application of Chinese nationals coming into the Philippines will “certainly pose challenges in ushering in more Chinese tourists to the country.”

“However, we understand the policy direction as well as the decision of the Department of Foreign Affairs, especially that it is based on certain security components,” she added.

According to the latest data of DOT, China is the third visitor source market of the Philippines contributing 168,628 or 6.56% to the international tourist arrivals as of June 1 this year.

Tourist markets to tap

To cushion the impact of the new visa policy, the tourism chief said the DOT will continue its efforts to attract its well-performing traditional markets that include South Korea, the United States of America and Japan.

As of June 1, the DOT data showed that the Philippines has so far received 2,569,379 international visitors from January to May this year.

South Korea, USA and Japan remained to be in the Top 4 source markets, bringing in the following number of tourists in the past five months:

  • South Korea - 682,362 (26.56% share)
  • USA - 403, 721(15.71% share)
  • Japan -158,461 (6.17% share)

Aside from these nations, the DOT chief said the Philippines is also tapping other potential tourist markets.

“We are also expanding our reach to other opportunity markets that include India and the Middle East para naman po masigurado natin na patuloy pa rin yung competitiveness ng Pilipinas in terms of international tourist arrivals,” Frasco said.

(We are also expanding our reach to other opportunity markets that include India and the Middle East to ensure that the Philippines’ competitiveness will be maintained in terms of international tourist arrivals)

In the past five months, India brought in 35,258 tourists to the country, a 16.05% increase from 30,383 logged Indian visitors in the same period last year.

Middle Eastern countries such as United Arab Emirates and Saudia Arabia on the other hand, contributed 17,291 and 8,222, tourists, respectively, according to the latest figures of DOT.

The DOT has participated in Arabian Travel Market 2024 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and the Seoul International Travel Fair 2024 in Seoul, South Korea last month amid is push to make Philippines “the next tourism powerhouse in Asia.”

The Philippines is targeting to welcome 7.7 million inbound visitor arrivals this year.

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