By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco (PNA photo by Joyce Rocamora)

MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) will “recalibrate” its efforts to further increase tourist arrivals from other source markets, including South Korea, the United States and Japan.

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco made the statement Friday after admitting that the additional visa requirements for Chinese nationals “will certainly pose challenges” in terms of ushering in more Chinese tourists to the country.

She said, however, the DOT understands the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) decision and policy direction, “especially that it is based on certain security components”.

The DFA has started requiring Chinese nationals applying for a temporary visitor’s visa to submit their Chinese Social Insurance Record certificates.

“Sa part naman ng DOT patuloy lang din ang ating efforts in terms of further attracting our well-performing traditional source markets kasali na po dyan ang South Korea, United States at Japan (On the part of the DOT, we will continue our efforts in terms of further attracting our well-performing traditional source markets, including South Korea, United States, and Japan),” she told reporters on the sidelines of the Philippine Tourism and Hotel Investment Summit in Makati City.

On top of these markets, she said the DOT is also expanding its reach to India and the Middle East.

She said marketing and promotions to attract Chinese tourists into the country are continuous.

“Our efforts through our tourism attachés in Shanghai and Beijing are still continuing as we still have Chinese tourists coming in as group tours as well as our cruise tourism passengers,” she said.

“We are working very closely with our aviation partners para lumago pa ang connectivity sa Philippines (so that connectivity will also grow in the Philippines).”

Based on the latest DOT data, China is still the country’s top 3 source market for foreign tourists, with 168,628 arrivals recorded from January to May 2024.

This number is also higher by 6.56 percent from the 86,980 Chinese visitors the country received in the same period in 2023. (PNA)