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Philippine tourist arrivals hit 25,000 since reopening

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Philippine tourist arrivals hit 25,000 since reopening
This February 2021 photo shows tourists in Boracay.
Malay Municipal Tourism Office / Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — Almost 25,000 foreign and Filipino tourists have arrived in the country since it opened its borders to international leisure travelers early this month, Malacañang has reported.

Acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said 24,826 inbound arrivals from various countries registered through One Health Pass as of Feb. 20.

Up to 13,492 foreign tourists and 11,334 balikbayans arrived. Most of them were from the US and Canada.

“Please take note that this is just the beginning of our efforts to encourage tourists to visit the country,” Nograles told a media briefing on Tuesday. “Our borders are open, but just a reminder that vaccination is very important for the country’s tourism to survive.”

“If we want a surge of tourists instead of a surge of COVID cases, we enjoin everyone to get vaccinated and get their booster shots. Let us help our fellow Filipinos who work in tourism-related industries,” he added.

Nograles said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has approved the vaccination certificates of 64 countries, territories and jurisdictions.

The Philippines started accepting foreign tourists on Feb. 10, following a drop in infections.

Nograles had earlier said foreigners traveling for business and tourism may enter the country without visas as long as they are fully vaccinated and present the required proof of inoculation and testing documents.

Meanwhile, foreigners who are parents or children of Filipinos may now enter the Philippines even without an entry exemption document from the Department of Foreign Affairs following new guidelines issued by the IATF. – Robertzon Ramirez

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