The DOT (Department of Tourist) of the Philippines is looking to widen its Visa upon Approval (VUA) policy for nationals of India as it looks to attract more tourists to the country.
Rolando Canizal, DOT Undersecretary, said that their agency was looking to lure 100,000 tourists from India in 2017.
Canizal, speaking at a press conference held on 22 August at the DOT office, was quoted by Khaleej Times as saying that India is next only China in terms of population. They were looking to extend this visa upon arrival to other markets, like India, he said. He added that he was hopeful of also allowing the Indian market to utilize this visa policy procedure.
The measure is a follow-up to the BI’s (Bureau of Immigration) decision to grant ‘landing visas’ to adhere to Department Circular 041 issued by Vitaliano Aguirre II, Justice Secretary, to issue visas upon arrival to Chinese nationals.
Wanda Teo, DOT Secretary, said the VUA will enable convenience of travel for Chinese tourists arriving in the Philippines.
She said that with the VUA, accredited travel agencies of the DOT could collect information, including the tourist’s name, his/her passport number and the individual’s itinerary, for online processing in the Southeast Asian country to its Immigration office. The tourist will then be issued a visa upon arrival.
Meanwhile, Frederick Alegre, DOT Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson, said that their department would be providing training courses in the Mandarin language to enable tourist guides to aid Chinese nationals.
The DOT is said to have set a target of attracting one million Chinese tourists by the end of 2017.