Friday, September 7, 2012

India and the Philippines to Enhance Cooperation in Tourism Sector Second Meeting of the Joint Working Group Held
India and the Phillipines have decided to enhance mutual cooperation in Tourism Sector. This was decided at the Second meeting of the Joint Working Group on Tourism Cooperation held here today. The Indian delegation was led by Shri R.H. Khwaja, Union Secretary for Tourism and the Philippines delegation by Ms. Maria Victoria V. Jasmin, Secretary, Department of Tourism, Department of Philippines.

It was decided in the meeting that both the countries will identify areas for working together and explore new opportunities in Tourism Sector specially in the field of Research and Development, Education and Training, Promotion and Marketing and destination development and management . Both sides gave an overview of the “Tourism Sector” in their respective countries and re-emphasised on its potential for employment generation and economic growth. It was also agreed that increased in the tourist traffic between the two countries could strengthen the bilateral relations at people to people level. Both sides also exchanged views for establishing mechanism to encourage exchange of information and data related to tourist arrivals and tourism resources to understand the dynamics of tourism sector in each others’ country. It was also agreed to continue to exchange tourism data and information at regular intervals.

India and the Philippines emphasised upon the need of exchange of visits of tour operators, media persons related to tourism and opinion makers to promote tourism between the two countries. The importance of interaction between the tour operators and destination managers of the two countries was stressed upon to develop better packages for tourists. It was agreed that the tourism stake-holders from two sides may meet at regular intervals for exchange of views to promote two-way traffic between the two countries. The information about investment of opportunities in the tourism sector in both the countries was also shared. Both the countries agreed that growing opportunities in tourism sector should be showcased to attracts investments from the private stake-holders of the two countries. It was also agreed to explore the possibilities of enhancing air-connectivity between both the countries. It was also agreed to assist each others’ country in carrying out promotion and marketing activities to increase the tourist traffic between the two countries. Both sides also agreed to continue the participation in travel fares held in each country, as-well-as regional events such as ASEAN Tourism Forum to showcase its diverse tourism products and destinations as-well-as allow private sector to interact and network with their counterparts.

Earlier, in his welcome address Union Tourism Secretary Shri Khwaja said that the meeting would be useful in enhancing tourism cooperation between the two-countries. He was also hopeful that the meeting will take tourism cooperation between the two countries to the next level and could be able to produce concrete results. Ms. Maria in her address appreciated the friendly relations between the two countries and emphasised upon the importance of pursuing a closer relationship based on the emerging potential in the tourism sector in the two countries.

An agreement on tourism cooperation was signed between India and the Philippines on February 04, 2006 . The first meeting of the Joint Working Group set up in this regard was held on July 04, 2008 in Manila . The third meeting of the Joint Working Group will be held next year in the Philippines.

Tourist arrival from the Philippines was 17222 in the year 2008 which rose to 21987 and 24534 in the year 2009 and 2010 respectively. The Visa on Arrival (VoA) facility was extended to the tourist from Philippines in January 2011. 1956 VoAs were issued last year for the tourists coming from Philippines. Upto June this year 966 VoAs were issued for the tourists from Philippines. 

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