As an archipelagic country with over 7000 islands, the Philippines always exhibits her carnival of colors to the world. From the hustle-and-bustle of city life to the serenity at countryside, from rice terraces to turquoise seas, from palatable bites to fusion cuisines, there must be options fitting any itineraries planned by travellers. To let visitors enjoy the never-ending summer over the land, the Philippines Government extended the visa-free entry up to 30 days for the nationals of 151 countries with effect from 1 August 2013.
With the 30-day tourist visa, it’s more fun in the Philippines for travellers! To beat the summer heat, sun-worshippers all over the world are able to stay longer over the pearlescent sandy beaches of Boracay to soak up the fun with water sports. To those shopaholics, a rather relaxing schedule for the visits from the medium-scale Greenhills Shopping Centre to large-scale SM Mall of Asia becomes available. To those dreamt of a pampering trip, relaxing at the theatre or taking a spa treatment in a six-star hotel in Resorts World located in Pasay City will also be the best choice.
The decision for the visa extension made by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Bureau of Immigration of the Philippines was undoubtedly to further boost the inbound tourism and to create the opportunities for attracting the foreign investment. It was the subsequent measure after the widely publicized and successful tourism marketing campaign held in 2012, which recorded at a total of 4.27 million tourist arrivals. Compared to that recorded in 2002, it grew 2.34 million more in ten years. It is predicted that the development of infrastructure over the urban regions will take a speedy schedule in order to further facilitate the booming tourism industry.
With a review for the source of inflow tourists in the past years, most of them were mainly from European countries and some from English-speaking countries in North America. However, the Chinese people now with the greatest purchasing power among travellers frequently go on vacation overseas. The competency level in Mandarin of the front officers in various service industries of the Philippines shall be therefore strengthened in order to get the best service ready to welcome more travellers from China.
Photo Credit: John Paul Solis