The Tourism Department expects the influx of 100,000 Indian visitors into the Philippines as a result of the agency’s recent promotional roadshows in Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai.
India has been one of the major tourist sources, accounting for nearly 75,000 visitors last year, up 22 percent year-on-year.
The department recorded 44,294 arrivals from India in the first six months of 2016, or just tailing the top 12 foreign visitors.
“The four Indian cities we targeted are important feeder markets, hence we are working on strengthening our relations with their local travel partners to assure sustainable growth,” said Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo.
She noted that increased Indian visitor arrivals were boosted by the free-entry privilege extended to Indian nationals bearing visas from the United States, Japan, Australia, Canada, Schengen, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
The Tourism market development group led the mission in India, bringing along representatives of hotels, resorts, spas, tourist attractions and tour operators from the Philippines to interact with over 400 Indian trade partners.
The departments said 2.98 million 438 overseas visitors arrived in the January-to-June period, 13 percent higher than 2.62 million in the same period in 2015. The Philippines registered 459,138 visitor arrivals in June.
Teo said the Philippines still lagged behind Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and even Vietnam in terms of visitor arrivals as of 2015, despite world-class local destinations.
She said the department aimed to attract about 5.4 million international visitors in 2015 to 12 million by 2022, as well as generate domestic tourists from 68 million in 2015 to 89 million in 2022.
The Tourism Department plans to increase tourism revenues from P2.8 trillion in 2015 to P3.9 trillion by 2022.
“From the current 8.2 percent share of the country’s GDP, we’ll raise it to 10 percent by 2022,” Teo said.