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Envoy: Group visas are causing Chinese tourists to return to the Philippines.

Following the restoration of group visa and e-visa applications, the Philippine Embassy in China has expressed confidence that the target number of Chinese tourist arrivals will be reached this year.

Jaime FlorCruz, the Philippine ambassador to China, claimed that they had already witnessed an increase in applications from tourists.

“We saw a surge in applications, especially with the restoration of the group visa application starting April 10,” FlorCruz said in a recent interview.

He claimed that the Philippines’ tropical climate, tropical fruits, stunning beaches, and warm people make it a favorite among Chinese tourists.

We are convinced that there has been an increase in retaliation travel because they were brought by accredited travel firms, he continued.

According to him, authorized travel agents have begun using the group trip visa application.

Many of them had intended to spend five to seven days in the Philippines over the May Day holiday due to the five-day holiday. We restored our group visa at a favorable time for us, he remarked.

According to him, travel companies have begun to handle group visas for groups of 10 to 20 or even 100 Chinese citizens planning trips to the Philippines.

Chinese visitors seeking to travel to the Philippines will grow as more countries, including China, implement electronic visa procedures, according to Erwin Balane, the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) attaché in northern China.

“The President has given us a clear directive, so we must follow it. Ideally, it will be operational by July or August. To speed up the process of submitting a visa application for the Philippines, we will let our friends in China know that the system will be operational right away, he said.

According to Balane, China’s position as a source of tourists to the Philippines rose from 13th at the end of 2022 to seventh after the first quarter of 2023.

Before the borders were closed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, approximately 1.73 million Chinese tourists arrived in the Philippines in 2019 and spent more than USD 2.33 billion there.

“It is said that you have increased, but you are still below the pre-pandemic number, according to the number that you are in. It means that although we are making progress, we are still a long way from the pre-pandemic level that we are aiming for in terms of our visa and product development in China. We remain optimistic that we can catch up with China because of the reforms we have made to our immigration policies and the goods we export there, said Balane.

After the Chinese government relaxed its restrictions on international travel due to the pandemic, the DOT anticipates at least 500,000 Chinese tourists will travel to the Philippines in 2023.

According to Balane, Kalibo, Aklan received the first post-pandemic charter flight from China on Friday.

“Magandang record iyan at may mga susunod pang charter flights” means “That’s a good record and there will be more charter flights.” We will open Chengdu-Kalibo on May 15 as well, so maybe more charter flights will follow until the summer break, he said.

According to Yanghua Huang, a professor at Renmin University, more Chinese tourists are anticipated to travel abroad as a result of the relaxation of Covid-19 regulations.

Yanghua said to the group of international journalists on Friday, “Chinese have money and they now want to help others have money too by buying products and visiting countries.”

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