MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Tourism (DOT) wants to be among the top-of-mind destinations of Indian tourists, now among the world's fastest growing market.
"By 2020, India is predicted to have 50 million outbound travels. By that time, we should have already deepened our stake as a choice destination," DOT Assistant Secretary Benito Bengzon Jr. said in a December 13 statement.
Bengzon stressed that India is one of the fastest growing outbound travel markets in the world with 12.5 million trips made abroad in 2010.
Only 38,108 Indian tourists visited the Philippines in January-to-October period. While this has grown 8.18% from a year ago, the Philippines wants more.
He described Indian tourists as "big spenders whose average length of stay lasts more than one week."
Bengzon noted that among the recently implemented strategies to capture the Indian market is the 14-day visa-free entry facility for Indian tourists with existing US, Japanese, Australian, Canadian, Schengen, Singapore, or UK visas.
Aside from visas, Bengzon noted that most Indian tourists prefer destinations with good air connectivity. The DOT is helping in expanding new government-to-government air pacts with India as well as other airlines within Asia.
The Philippines aims to increase tourist arrivals in 2016 to 10 million. It targets 4.2 million this 2012. - Rappler.com
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