Philippines Department of Tourism meets with Japanese tourism execs to boost inbound tourism arrivals

As part of its recent delegation to Japan, the Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) engaged Japanese media in a meet and greet activity on 15 March 2022 at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo. I DOT Photo

Tokyo, Japan— The Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) continues its marketing and promotional efforts a month after reopening to international leisure travelers, this time setting its sights on potential visitors from a major source market- Japan.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat led the Philippine delegation to Japan to engage with the latter’s tourism stakeholders and promote the country as a safe travel destination in the new normal.

Japan has consistently been the Philippines’ fourth-biggest tourism source market prior to the pandemic. In 2019, the country recorded 682,788 tourists from Japan. Since the country’s reopening last February 10, the Philippines welcomed 2,125 leisure travelers from Japan as of March 20, 2022.

Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat met with the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Japan Secretariat on 15 March 2022 at Imperial Hotel Tokyo. The tourism chief enjoined Japanese tourism players to participate in the much-anticipated WTTC Global Summit which the Philippines will host for the first time on 20-22 April 2022. I DOT Photo

During the delegation’s official trip in Japan, Puyat met with Japanese travel agents, tour operators, tourism organizations, English studies operators, economic federations, as well as Japanese media from Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka.

Some of the notable participants included STWorld; Japan Association of Travel Agents; JTB Corp; Japan Travel and Tourism Association; Hankyu Travel International Co., Ltd; Kansai Economic Federation; and the Japan Philippine Tourism Council.

The tourism chief highlighted, among others, the country’s low COVID-19 cases, the high vaccination rate of tourism workers, compliance with global safety and hygiene protocols, and simplified entry requirements and process. She assured Japanese tourism stakeholders that the DOT will continue to provide marketing support including that of chartered flights to the Philippines.

Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat (fourth from left) poses for a photo opportunity with officials of ST World. The company, considered to be one of the leading travel agents and active sellers of Philippine tour packages, will be mounting charter flights from Japan to Bohol starting on August. I DOT Photo

Secretary Puyat also introduced a program to entice fully vaccinated Japanese travelers who have yet to receive their booster jabs by providing COVID-19 vaccine booster shots at popular tourist destinations in the country. This will enable Japanese tourists to go back to Japan without having to do quarantine.

“Like other tourism ministries, the Philippines Department of Tourism exhausted all possible efforts to revive the industry, primarily to restore jobs and rebuild revenue streams. Now, we are glad to see the fruits of our labor after nearly two years of preparations to push for the recovery of the sector,” the tourism chief said.

Puyat emphasized that the Philippines is by far the first country in Southeast Asia to have the simplest travel process with no quarantines nor testing upon arrival.

“We are aware that the pandemic is still here and health should always be the priority. We strive to balance public safety and economic recovery by crafting policies that safeguard our citizen’s well-being as well as revive the tourism sector,” she stressed.

Puyat also met with the DOT’s counterpart, the Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MOLIT) to discuss the resumption of two-way tourism traffic between the two countries.

Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat speaks during her 14 March 2022 meeting with Japanese travel agents at Imperial Hotel Tokyo. The meeting was one of the activities organized by the PDOT to promote the Philippines to Japanese tourism stakeholders as a safe travel destination in the new normal. I DOT Photo

“The Philippines and Japan share a common goal for the tourism sector, that of promoting our respective destinations and thereby contributing meaningfully to the growth of our nations’ economies.”, said Puyat

The tourism chief took the opportunity to invite Japanese tourism players to the much-anticipated World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit, which will be held in Manila, Philippines for the first time from April 20 to 22.

The upcoming Philippine-hosted WTTC Summit will “open discussions between industry stakeholders, organizations, and governments to support economic recovery through the restarting of travel and tourism and attracting investments centered on the safe and secure reopening of the industry,” she disclosed.

The tourism chief earlier said that such hosting is an advantage to the Philippines, as it is a way to showcase what the country could offer more in the global arena in terms of boosting investments.

“Through this event, we aim to stimulate discussions on how to solve the social, environmental, and economic challenges faced by the global travel and tourism industry. Likewise, we aim to increase the public’s appreciation for the travel and tourism industry’s role as a driver of economic growth, livelihoods and employment, and sustainable development,” she said.

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