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The Philippines: DOT steps up promotion in China
The Department of Tourism (DOT) of the Philippines is stepping up its campaign to attract more tourists from China, a key market that has remained one of the sector’s key growth drivers.
 
DOT Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo has tasked newly appointed Undersecretary Jose Gabriel La Viña to oversee efforts to draw in more Chinese visitors.
 
La Viña said his main objective in his new post is to help fight poverty through tourism.
 
“With tourism, we can wipe out poverty in the next four to six years. That’s the reason why I am here. Even though I have asked for something else, something more quiet, far away from the media,” he said.
 
Last year, a total of 968,447 Chinese tourists came to the Philippines, a 43.33 percent increase from the 675,663 arrivals in 2016. For this year, the DOT expects a total of 1.5 million Chinese visitors.
 
In the first two months of 2018, Chinese arrivals have hit 429,306, making China the second leading source market after Korea.
 
Last February, the DOT said it has bagged more flights to and from various points in China to the Philippines. It said an estimated 5,180 seats per month would be added to flights from China to various locations in the Philippines this year.
 
“As for the main thrust to get more Chinese tourists, our priority will be accessibility,” DOT-Shanghai tourism attache Ireneo Reyes earlier said. “Starting this year, a total of 5,180 seats per month will be added, with special charter flights for the Chinese New Year celebration.”
 
The DOT said for the Chinese New Year, a total of 2,937 seats would be opened in February from different Chinese cities including Guangzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Wuxi and Tianjin.
 
“These direct and charter flights provide convenience that greatly affects tourist experience and influences potential tourists’ decision in choosing a destination. At the moment, there are 11 airlines servicing direct, regular and charter, routes for 17 Chinese cities,” DOT-Beijing tourism attaché Tomasito Umali said.
 
Teo earlier said Chinese charter operators have been expressing interest in mounting flights to the country, particularly in Manila.
 
She, however, encouraged Chinese charter operators to mount flights to other airports such as Clark, Palawan, Davao, and Cebu.
 
Last September, the DOT inked an agreement with Chengdu-based charter operator Hanglv International Travel Group to boost the thriving route between mainland China and Manila.
 
Apart from additional flights, DOT is also expecting more Chinese tourists to enter the country via cruise, as more Chinese cruise companies and charterers are adding the Philippines in their itineraries.
 
  Source: The Philippine Star

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