Visa Reforms to boost Tourism
The Philippines government is set to implement a number of visa reforms intended to boost the competitiveness of the Philippines as a tourism destination.
The new visa policies include additional visa-free privilege for 166 countries/territories from 21 to 30 days, granting of a 30-day visa-free stay to Chinese nationals traveling to the Philippines as part of a tour group handled by a Department of Tourism accredited Philippine tour operator and a 14-day visa-free stay for Indian nationals who have a valid American, Japan, Australia, Canadian, Schengen, Singapore, or United Kingdom visa.
The new policies were agreed upon in a recent meeting. The new policies are set to simplify entry requirement procedures and processes and allowing tourists more time in the Philippines.
“We need to address the perception abroad that it is difficult to enter the Philippines. With these visa reforms, we will be at par with the entry policies of our neighbors in the region and, for some markets, more liberal. This will definitely help in achieving our target of 10 million foreign visitors by 2016,” said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez.
Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia allow entry of nationals of most countries without a visa for stays of up to 30 days. Tourists entering Cambodia are issued visas upon arrival valid for one month, except for nationals of ASEAN countries who are allowed to enter visa-free.