Tokyo — Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo arrived in Tokyo last night as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s official delegation that includes other cabinet members, high-ranking government officials, and prominent business leaders.
She said the Department of Tourism (DOT) is leveraging on the President’s first Working Visit to Japan, which underscores the six decades of strong foreign relations between the two nations, to position the Philippines as a tourist and investment destination.
To secure investments for tourism infrastructure in the Philippines, encourage more air connectivity between the two countries, and ensure stronger presence in the Japanese travel market are among Secretary Teo’s business agenda.
“As visitor arrivals from Japan to the Philippines continue to grow at an annual rate of 6.88 percent, our country has yet to tap into the Japanese market’s full potential as a top income generator. Our scheduled business meetings would hopefully encourage Japanese travel trade to expand their operations in the Philippines,” the tourism chief explained in an interview at the Filipino community gathering held last night in honor of President Duterte at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo.
Citing the availability of direct flights from Fukuoka, Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo, Secretary Teo is confident the Philippines would figure more prominently this time as the top visited destination by Japanese tourists both regional and worldwide as compared to its 17th and 10th place rankings in both categories in 2010.
Japan is the Philippines’ fourth biggest source of inbound tourists, with already more than 360,000 arrivals for the second quarter of this year. In 2015, Japanese arrivals to the country counted more than 490,000 generating 9.25 percent of the total market share.
According to the latest DOT data, 38 percent of Japanese travellers visit the Philippines for food and beverage, while 24 percent of them go for shopping and 19 percent for recreation. Same data shows that 56 percent of Japanese visitors come to the country for holiday, while 14 percent for business purposes. It is also curious to note that 83.80 percent of the Japanese visitors travel alone, staying a maximum of 4 hotel nights