Garin says DOT needs to intensify efforts to attract more tourists
MANILA, Philippines — Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin has called on the Department of Tourism (DOT) to intensify efforts toward attracting more tourists, as other Southeast Asian countries start implementing a no-visa requirement for Chinese visitors.
Garin in a statement said the country is already known for its tourist spots but it might get a boost if the government gets rid of cumbersome bureaucratic practices.
“Kailangan mas paigtingin pa ng DOT at iba pang ahensya ang ating turismo lalo na’t marami sa kalapit nating bansa ay nag-alis na ng visa requirement para sa mga Chinese national,” she said on Monday.
(The DOT and other government agencies need to intensify efforts towards tourism, especially since some of our neighbor-countries have removed visa requirements for Chinese nationals.)
“While we have a lot of tourist spots and our hospitality is one of a kind, it should be coupled with less bureaucracy and better facilitation,” she added.
Last January 24, it was reported that Thailand and China have agreed to waive visa requirements for each other’s nationals to facilitate travel and tourism between the two countries.
Thailand and China’s mutual visa exemption takes effect on March 1.
Singapore announced its own version of the visa-free entry last December 2023, while Malaysia made theirs last November.
Garin said better tourism numbers would improve the country’s economy.
“Kapag lumago ang ekonomiya, tataas ang employment rate, tataas din ang antas ng pamumuhay ng mga Pilipino,” she noted.
(If the economy improves, the employment rate increases, and the quality of life of people would improve.)
China is one of the countries with the highest number of tourists going to the Philippines. However, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian admitted last January 25 that there has been a sharp decline in Chinese tourists in the country compared to the pre-pandemic numbers.
Huang said that almost 1.8 million Chinese tourists visited the country in 2019, but this has dwindled to just around 200,000 in 2023.
With reports from Melanie Tamayo, trainee