The Philippines has decided to start offering visa-on-arrival to Chinese tourists, in a bid to tap into this massive inbound market.
The decision was taken as part of the Philippine Department of Tourism’s (DOT) broader plans to ease visa rules and regulations, as a means of boosting its tourism industry. Its long-standing request with the Philippine government to offer VoA to Chinese travellers has now been accepted.
Wanda Tulfo-Teo, secretary of DOT, said the move would allow the Philippines to become “a rightful competitor in [the] international tourism industry”.
“We also believe this will serve as an incentive to Chinese guests who may be prospective investors wanting to prove that the country is not only a safe haven for tourists but also a lucrative business location as well,” Secretary Teo said.
“Accommodating our visiting Chinese friends with a visa-upon-arrival will only help keep the momentum of massive influx of Chinese tourists into the country since the inception of the Duterte administration in July of 2016,” she added.
Following President Duterte’s state visit to China in October 2016 and the lifting of Beijing’s travel restrictions against the Philippines, Chinese arrivals to the archipelago surged 37.7% to 675,663 by the end of the year. This growth has continued into the first half of 2017, with Chinese arrivals jumping 33.4% to 454,962.