- The government is planning to shorten visa processing period for Chinese and some Indian nationals
- A Tourism official said the DOJ already agreed to explore the possibility
- Chinese travelers among the fastest-growing tourism market in the country
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is considering to shorten the visa processing period for both Chinese and Indian tourists; the two being the major markets for tourism in the country.
Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon said on Thursday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra already agreed to explore the possibility of facilitating visa upon arrival (VUA) process for Chinese travelers.
“We realize that the partner agencies have their respective mandates with respect to border control. We have to strike an optimum balance so that they’re able to collectively meet our respective department’s objectives,” said Bengzon.
Chinese tourists, the fastest growing tourism market in the Philippines at present, are already allowed ‘landing visas’ which mean they can get visas at the destination airport upon arrival. However, they still need to file the application 10 days before the scheduled arrival.
Asked how the government plan to shorten it further, and by how many days, Bengzon did not give details but said they will leave it to the DOJ.
“If you’re a Chinese traveler who wanted to come to the Philippines and you spot a sale [which] departure date is three days away or two days away,” the Tourism official explained.
“So these are the things that we have to explain to them [DOJ] but generally we just have to wait for their feedback,” he added.
But in the case of Indian nationals, only those with valid visa to the United Kingdom, Japan, United States and Singapore are allowed VUA. Nevertheless, Bengzon said this can still be considered an “important development” in the tourism industry.