The newly signed tourism deal between Japan and the Philippines will complement the Philippine government’s push to fast-track tourism recovery and boost the arrival of Japanese visitors.
On the sidelines of Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Manila on Nov. 3, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLITT) signed a memorandum of cooperation.
In a statement on Saturday, the DOT said the deal will facilitate interaction between Filipino and Japanese tourism officials to explore ways to increase tourist arrivals from world tourist-generating markets and encourage more tourists to visit various tourist destinations, including rural areas in each other’s country.
The deal, the DOT said, is likewise expected to increase the traffic of high-value travelers, or those who stay longer and thus spend more.
“With the signing of this landmark Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on Tourism under the Marcos administration, the Philippines’ bilateral relations with Japan is strengthened as we anticipate that this will exponentially expand tourism opportunities with the Japanese, which is one of our top source markets,” DOT Secretary Christina Frasco said.
Frasco is optimistic the new framework of cooperation between the two states will also usher in tourism development in the fields of sustainability, air and sea connectivity, education, human capital development, culture, gastronomy, nature and adventure.
The Philippines and Japan also agreed to cooperate in ensuring the safety of tourists while staying in their respective countries.
A joint working group composed of senior officials from the DOT and Japan’s MLITT will be convened for the proper implementation of the MOC, which will run for five years and is subject for renewal.
Frasco and MLIT Minister Tetsuo Saito signed the MOC, which was then presented in the presence of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Malacañan Palace in Manila on Friday night.
Japan is considered one of the country’s top sources of visitors, ranking third as of Nov. 2 with nearly a “quarter of a million arrivals into the Philippines,” according to the DOT. (PNA)