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3:39 pm on 13 February 2023, Monday
By Romeo Braceros Jr.
Tourism stakeholders in Cebu applaud the government's efforts to get Japan to lift or relax its travel warnings against popular tourist spots in the Philippines to revitalize the nation's pandemic-damaged tourism sector.
Melanie Ng, the regional governor of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Central Visayas, says she "believes that relaxing travel restrictions while reminding visitors and the public at large to uphold safety protocols will boost our economic recovery and tourism arrivals, especially at this time when there is increased investor interest in the country."
Ng is a representative of the nation in Japan. At the Philippine Business Opportunities Forum, approximately 800 Japanese business people participated, and according to her, "they were very much delighted with the economic proposals offered by the Cabinet secretaries, especially that of Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco."
The five-day tour to Japan by Marcos and his economic team began on Wednesday, February 8.
The removal of limitations would improve relations between Japan and the Philippines while aiding the industry's recovery.
“The Philippines and Japan have so much in the pipeline on what we can share and learn with each other. But first and foremost, we note that further to deepen our nation’s mutual friendship and interest, we must first be open to each other’s people,” Marcos Jr. said during the high-level roundtable meeting with Japanese tourism stakeholders.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) intends to develop other tourism products well-liked by Japanese visitors, such as diving, meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE), and education tourism, mainly English as a Second Language. Frasco also shared this intention in her presentation.
“Over the years, Japanese tourists have come to the Philippines for various reasons. The top tourism products include general leisure and diving. The Philippines has also become a preferred education tourism destination for learning English and school trips. With the resumption of travel post-pandemic and the growing interest in sustainable tourism, we see new and innovative programs in school trip modules offered in the marketplace. Mice is also a segment we would like to develop further,” Frasco said.