Philippines lobbies for lifting of Japan travel advisories

Philippines lobbies for lifting of Japan travel advisories

TOKYO – To revive the pandemic-hit tourism industry, the Philippine government will lobby for the “lifting or limiting” of Japan’s travel advisories against the country’s key travel destinations, President Marcos said yesterday.

The President made the remarks during a high-level roundtable meeting with Japanese tourism stakeholders and top Philippine government officials, including Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco here, according to a statement released by the Department of Tourism

“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 in order for us to further deepen our nation’s mutual friendship and interest, we must first be open to each other’s people,” Marcos said. “With this, we are working on lobbying to the Japanese government for the lifting or limiting of its travel advisory against the Philippines’ key travel destinations,” he said.

The DOT, however, did not say which destinations in the Philippines have adverse travel advisories from the Japanese government. Marcos arrived in Tokyo on Wednesday for a five-day official visit.

The President has also pushed for the promotion of educational tourism between Japan and the Philippines with special focus on the exchange of students and professionals in tourism-related institutions.

The Chief Executive invited Japanese students to study English in the Philippines.

“Filipinos are known to be the citizens of the world. Filipinos have a fluency in English that is recognized to be one of our main leverages, one of our main selling points in terms of the educational tourism. It makes it easy for us to work and communicate in other countries. And where else can you better learn English than in the Philippines,” the President said.

To harness the development of tourism in the country, Marcos said his administration ensures hard and soft infrastructure are well-developed, from roads and bridges, medical facilities, to clean water supplies.

He also noted his administration’s aggressive infrastructure efforts aimed at improving road networks and internet connectivity in tourist destinations.

As of Jan. 30, 2022, Japanese ranked sixth among the Philippines’ foreign visitors.

“As a country that recognizes the linkage of our success to that of our neighbors such as Japan, working together in boosting one’s tourism sector is vital to economic resurgence,” Marcos said.

In his first State of the Nation Address, Marcos identified tourism as one of the top priorities of his administration.

During pre-pandemic times, the President noted that tourism contributed 12.9 percent, or close to 13 percent, to the country’s gross domestic product.

“We are banking on this potential to reshape the industry to be one of the key economic drivers of the country. We are well on our way to recovery, this I assure you, with more than 2.65 million foreign visitors we have welcomed last year, that’s exceeding the initial target of 1.7 million,” Marcos said.

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