BAGUIO CITY – Presidential Spokesperson Herminio ‘Harry’ L. Roque, Jr. said the government is eyeing a significant increase in the number of tourist arrivals from China to help realize the projected robust growth in the country’s foreign tourist arrivals starting this year.
Secretary Roque, who was in the city for the opening of the 23rd edition of Panagbenga, said that last year, there were over 963,000 Chinese visitors who came to the country, over 43 percent higher than the recorded Chinese tourist arrivals the previous year which was over 650,000 visitors.
He said starting this month, there will be 7 direct flights from Xiamen, China to Puerto Princesa, Palawan to entice more Chinese tourists to visit the beautiful destinations in the different parts of the country.
“We are optimistic that with the country’s improving relations with China, we can maximize the potentials of the increasing Chinese tourist arrivals to help boost the country’s desired economic growth in the future,” Secretary Roque stressed.
The Palace official explained that at least 25 percent of the 5 million foreign tourist arrivals last year are Chinese that is why the projected 10 million tourist arrivals for a year could be easily achieved once there will be a significant increase in the number of Chinese tourists in the coming months.
According to him, another good news is that a direct flight from a Chinese city to Puerto Princesa is under negotiation which will surely boost the country’s foreign tourist arrivals in the coming months.
He claimed that the government is embarking on significantly increasing the number of foreign tourist arrivals in the country through improved relations not only with China but other countries in the world for their citizens to frequent the Philippines scenic tourist destinations and help improve the economic growth around the archipelago.
With the sustained growth in the foreign tourist arrivals in the country, Secretary Roque pointed out people in the tourist areas directly benefit through tourist spending.
The tourism department reports that a typical foreign tourist spends at least P3,000 for food, lodging and other incidental expenses aside from transportation while a local tourist spends at least P2,000 a day when visiting their desired tourist destinations.
He revealed the continuous increase in tourist arrivals in the country only shows the trust and confidence of foreigners to the policies being put in place by the administration to stabilize the country’s peace and order situation, good governance mechanisms, financial and economic policies for the benefit of the greater number of Filipinos wanting to have a better living condition.
Roque asserted there is no better destination in the world than the beautiful beaches of some parts of Luzon and Visayas and these surely entices visitors to visit the country for their desired destination for rest and recreation.