The number of leisure travel visitors from India to Philippines is steadily going up and likely to cross the 1-lakh mark this year. Efforts are being made to woo visitors from select tier-II cities for incentive meetings, weddings and leisure travel.
Raymund Glen A. Agustin, Chief Tourism Operations Officer, Department of Tourism, Philippines, said, “There has been nearly 25 per cent growth during the year so far and we expect to close 2017 with a robust double-digit growth and possibly cross the 1-lakh mark.”
“The focus all through has been on some of the major metros particularly Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata; but now we are looking to tap the tier-II cities of Hyderabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Lucknow, where there is immense potential,” he said.
“India currently ranks 12th in the overall tourist visits to the Philippines and we expect this to go up by some notches,” Daks Fernandez Gonzales, Secretary-General, Pacific Asia Travel Association, Philippines, said.
During an interaction with BusinessLine on the sidelines of an interactive session of travel and tour operators who had converged here, Agustin said the Philippines has beaches, uninhabited tropical islands, lush impenetrable jungles bristling with unique wildlife, historic cities and diverse cuisine.
He said the visa process has been simplified and there is a special provision for those who already have a valid visa of the US, UK and Japan, and a few other countries.
On connectivity, Agustin said, “There is no direct connectivity, but we are working with Thai, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Jet Airways and PAL to ensure better connectivity to India tourists. This will further boost the numbers,” he said.