MANILA – The Department of Tourism (DOT) is keen on further developing the exhibition and conference industry to increase the number of Japanese visitors to the Philippines.
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, who is in Japan with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., said Japan is an important tourism source market for the Philippines. DOT is mandated to develop and promote the Philippines as a center for international Meetings,
Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE).
“Over the years, the Japanese tourists have come to the Philippines for various reasons. The leading tourism products include general leisure and diving. The Philippines has also gained popularity as a preferred Education tourism destination for learning English and school trips,” she said in her opening remarks during the high-level roundtable meeting with Japanese tourism stakeholders on Thursday.
“With the resumption of travel post-pandemic, and the growing interest in sustainable tourism, we are seeing new and innovative programs emerging in school trip modules offered in the marketplace. MICE is also a segment we would like to develop further,” she added.
The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), a DOT-attached agency, has been marketing and promoting the Philippines as a world-class tourism and MICE destination.
Months prior to Marcos’ official visit to Japan, the TPB conducted a tourism business mission to Osaka and Tokyo to initiate and strengthen business partnerships.
In 2019, Japan was ranked as the country’s fourth biggest international tourism source market, with visitor arrivals tallying 682,788 in 2019.
While still below pre-pandemic levels, tourists are slowly returning since border restrictions eased. In 2022, the Philippines received 99,557 tourists from Japan, based on DOT data. (PNA)