Visa applications to PH increased two-fold

    The Philippines embassy in China reportedly recorded a 200 percent increase in visa applications from Chinese tourists and businessmen looking to visit the Philippines, The Inquirer reports.

    According to the news outlet, Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana said improved relations between Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte and the Chinese administration, as well as the lifting of Philippine “travel warnings” has, and will serve to improve tourism in the country.

    “We were out of the mainstream. The Chinese were touring Southeast Asia but not the Philippines during the period of our strained relations because the Chinese media coverage of the Philippines then was quite negative. Recently, the coverage of the Chinese media has been quite positive,” he said.

    “China, right now, constitutes a big demand of visas because of the boom in tourism and in business travel,” he said. “We will hit one million arrivals this year.”

    According to Romana, around 675,663 arrivals were recorded in the year 2016, up 36.7 percent year-on-year.