The Philippines is implementing visas on arrival to Chinese visitors to boost tourism and investment, announced the Bureau of Immigration (BI) yesterday.
The programme is open to Chinese nationals who are members of tour groups organised by tour operators accredited by the Tourism Department; businessmen endorsed by local and foreign Chambers of Commerce and other government agencies; and athletes and delegates to conventions and exhibitions, the BI said a statement.
The visa-on-arrival facility will be available at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and eight other international airports (Clark, Mactan, and Kalibo) and seaports (Manila, Puerto Princesa, Subic, Laoag and Caticlan) in the country.
Chinese nationals may, through their tour operator, apply for their landed visas at the BI for an initial authorised stay of 30 days, which may be extended up to six months.
Applicants should be holders of valid passports and return tickets, and file their applications at least 10 working days before their arrival. They will be charged a visa fee of US$25 and P10 (US$0.20) legal research fee.
This latest initiative is likely to catapult China as a top source market of visitors to the country, said the Philippine Department of Tourism (DoT).
”Accommodating our visiting Chinese friends with a visa grant upon arrival will only help keep the momentum of massive influx of Chinese tourists into the country,” DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo commented.
Following the lifting of Beijing’s travel restriction against the Philippines in October 2016, Chinese arrivals surged 37.7 per cent to 675,663 by last year-end from 490,841 in 2015.
The spike in Chinese arrivals continued into the first half of 2017, climbing 33.4 per cent to 454,962 from last year’s 340,958.