China, Philippines sign tourism agreement

China and the Philippines have signed an agreement to boost tourism-related travel between both countries and encourage investment in tourism, the Business Mirror reports.

The tourism-cooperation program for 2017 – 2022 will help to normalize diplomatic ties between both countries, which earlier saw an informal ban on Chinese leisure travels to the Philippines.

The agreement includes within it, a framework to encourage investments in tourism infrastructure, and a scheme to increase tourism traffic in both countries.

“The participants will support each other’s tourism departments and enterprise in holding travel fairs, tourism exhibitions and other promotion initiatives, to inform the traveling public on the other participant’s tourism products and services, as well as cultivate awareness of environment protection and sustainable development in the growth of the participants’ tourism industries,” read the agreement.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) says it is targeting Chinese visitor arrivals to reach 632,947 in 2016, and 729,715 in 2017, according to the news outlet.

In 2015 Chinese tourists in the Philippines grew by 24.3 percent to 490,841.