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PH, Japan ink deal on tourism cooperation
PH, Japan ink deal on tourism cooperation
Nation
PH, Japan ink deal on tourism cooperation
by Karen Ow-Yong04 November 2023
Photo courtesy: Presidential Communications Office (PCO)

MANILA – A cooperation agreement between the Philippines and Japan was signed on Friday and is expected to strengthen and further develop ties between the two countries in the field of tourism.

According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), the cooperation agreement also aims to increase tourist arrivals for both countries from “world tourist-generating markets;” to encourage more tourists to visit various destinations and attractions, including rural areas in each other’s country; to encourage mutual visits and traffic high-value added travelers to increase consumption; and encourage growth of the tourism industry of the Philippines and Japan particularly on the aspects of education, culture, gastronomy, sustainable tourism and adventure.

The Memorandum of Cooperation for Tourism was signed by DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and Japanese Government’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLITT) Minister Tetsuo Saita, the first stand-alone cooperation agreement between the two countries.

The contract was exchanged in the presence of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio during the latter’s first official visit to the Philippines from November 3 to 4, 2023.

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Frasco said that the signing of the agreement is seen as an opportunity to further strengthen the bilateral relations of the Philippines and Japan, which is considered as one of the country’s top source markets.

“With the signing of this landmark Memorandum of Cooperation 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,” Frasco said.

She added that “this shall also usher in further tourism development in the fields of sustainability, air and sea connectivity, education, human capital development, culture, gastronomy, nature and adventure, which shall increase tourism revenues for our stakeholders, usher in more tourism investments, and create more jobs for our fellow Filipinos, as envisioned by our President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.”.

According to data from the DOT, Japan is considered as one of the country’s top source of visitors ranking third as of November 2, 2023 with nearly a quarter of a million arrivals to the Philippines.

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Both countries are also expected to engage in the exchange of information on matters related to the industry; education and training; ensure means of mutual traffic through the enhancement of air and sea connectivity; and joint promotional programs, as well as enhancement of transport connectivity to sustain people-to-people exchanges, influx of travelers and ensure tourist safety.

The Tourism department also mentions a joint working group composed of senior officials from the DOT and MLITT will be convened for the proper implementation of the agreement which will run for five years and is subject for renewal.

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