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The Philippines will relax entry requirements for visitors from China and India

The Philippines’ government intends to relax its entry requirements for visitors from other countries, particularly those from China and India.

In order to further simplify the travel procedure for foreign nationals, the government agencies, according to Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco, must investigate the provision of the travel mechanism, including the electronic visa system.

The Tourism Secretary reportedly met with representatives from other departments, including the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Justice, and the Bureau of Immigration, in order to discuss visa issues as well as the current state of tourism, according to the Inquirer report.

While acknowledging the success recorded in the tourism sector last year, Frasco stressed that there are still obstacles preventing the nation from fully realizing its potential in terms of international tourism.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) reported that 58 percent of Indian visitors were return guests, underscoring the importance of maintaining and growing their access.

The department acknowledged that a key market for overseas tourists in India.

“We are the only nation that [has not yet] offered Indian nationals the easy electronic visa. The Philippines have yet to fully tap into this enormous market, according to a statement from Frasco.

The Department also stressed the potential of the Chinese market at the same time, pointing out that China was the second-largest source of foreign visitors to the Philippines in 2019.

Frasco also mentioned that the Philippines’ posts in China handled over 1.5 million visas in 2019 with an average of 507 per post per day and 2,704 overall.

“To meet our modest goal of 500,000 Chinese visitors to the Philippines, we would need to grant 1,704 visas per day. We would need to issue 3,409 visas daily if we were to aim for the medium scenario of a million Chinese entering the country, she said.

The spread of the coronavirus and its novel forms has had a significant impact on the Philippines’ travel and tourism industry. According to data released by the World Health Organization (WHO), a total of 66,332 people have died from the coronavirus in the Philippines to date, while 4,080,182 people have tested positive for the disease.

In spite of these numbers, the Philippine government was nevertheless able to host a sizable number of tourists. Also, it was stated that the country welcomed 2.65 million foreign visitors overall last year, exceeding the 1.7 million target set by the tourism industry.

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