BEIJING, China – China lifted its travel advisory cautioning its citizens traveling to the Philippines in a bid to improve bilateral ties between the two countries.
“President Xi Jinping has announced that China will lift the travel advices issued a few years ago to Chinese citizens traveling to the Philippines,” said Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhien Min during a press conference on Thursday, October 20.
The press briefing was held right after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Xi witnessed the signing of 13 agreements on cooperation between their countries.
The lifting of the travel advisory, achieved during Duterte’s China state visit, is expected to “encourage more Chinese citizens to travel in the Philippines,” continued Liu.
Before Duterte’s China state visit, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jinhua had said both the Philippine and Chinese governments are targeting 1 million Chinese tourists arrivals in the Philippines by end of 2017.
In 2015, Chinese tourists to the Philippines numbered only around 500,000.
For the past 3 years, China has had the biggest outbound tourist market reaching around 100 million people. Southeast Asia captured the biggest number of these tourists with Thailand getting the biggest share of the pie.
The Chinese government has also renewed permits with 27 Philippine companies exporting tropical fruits, including mangoes. Earlier, China had already lifted its ban of bananas from the Philippines. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.