The Department of Tourism said the implementation of the Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) program may yet catapult China as a top source market of visitors to the Philippines.
The DOT expresses its appreciation for the favorable action of the Department of Justice to DOT’s long-standing proposal to ease the visa rules and procedures, specifically to implement the VUA policy for Chinese visitors.
DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo had pressed for DOJ’s approval and implementation of the VUA, as DOT positions the country to become a rightful competitor in 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,” Sec. Teo said.
Following President Duterte’s state visit to China in mid-October 2016 and the lifting of Beijing’s travel restriction against the Philippines, Chinese arrivals surged to 675,663 by yearend, up by 37.65 percent from 490,841 in 2015.
The phenomenal increase in Chinese arrivals continued into the first half of 2017 as it jumped 33.44 percent with 454,962 visitors compared to last year’s 340,958.
”Accommodating our visiting Chinese friends with a visa grant 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,” added Sec. Teo.
In welcoming our Chinese visitors with open arms, we also share the enthusiasm of DOJ, through the Bureau of Immigration, to foster improved bilateral relations with Beijing.