Philippines to exempt indians from visa requirements

Philippines relaxes visas for Indian tourists
In a bid to compete with Malaysia and Thailand, the Philippines is thinking of removing visa requirements for Indian tourists to the country. According to chief tourism operations officer of the south-east Asian nation, Glen Agustin said the nation's tourism ministry was having plans to do away with entry visa requirements for Indians and the Philippines government was taking active steps to put it into practice. They were hopeful to bring it to fruition during the first quarter of the financial 2015-16.

Approximately 60,000 Indians visited the Philippines in the previous year as compared to 53,000 in 2013, depicting a 15% increase. The department of tourism in Philippines is expecting to compete with other south-east Asian countries which attract more Indians for family holidays, luxury travels and weddings. Agustin added that India was a potential market for sending travelers to Philippines as more than one million Indians came to Thailand on a yearly basis for the purpose of tourism or some other reasons. The Philippine archipelago consisting of 7,107 islands was a major attraction for Indian middle class people as well as for holding corporate events.

The uninterrupted network to Philippines's capital city, Manila and the smooth continuity of airline activity within the nation's forthcoming travel spots such as Cebu, Davao, Bohol, Palawi and Boracay are the main reasons for improved arrivals. The 23rd Asia-Pacific Economic Conference, 2015 will be held in Philippines during the latter half of the year.

Flights are now functional along the Mumbai-Singapore-Manila and Mumbai-Thailand-Manila routes. Efforts were on to begin direct private airline services from India. In this endeavor, the Cathy Pacific and Cebu-Pacific Airlines had shown a positive response. 

As per the Philippines department of tourism, visitors comprising five million arrived here in 2014 from countries like Japan, Korea, Australia, U.S and China, showing a 5% growth from the last year. The tourism department is conducting road show events in India, especially in Hyderabad where there were 700,000 passports issued in 2014. Apart from this, Mumbai is the leading metropolitan city to send visitors to Philippines. 2015 has been declared 'Visit the Philippines Year' and promises to be more fun-filled for travelers across the globe.

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Posted On : 03 February,2015