By Charina Clarisse Echaluce
The Department of Tourism (DOT) is expecting a significant increase in the number of Indian tourists in local tourist spots following the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement with Singapore International Airlines (SIA).
Through the one-year collaboration, DOT and SIA will undertake joint marketing initiatives that will implement activities to promote the Philippines to the Indian market through social media, familiarization tours and roadshows, among others.
Singapore Airlines is the primary carrier connecting India to the Philippines.
“This is a milestone for the Philippines. The India market is growing at a very fast rate. In fact, we are expecting to reach 100,000 arrivals by end of 2017. This joint agreement is envisioned to sustain and further strengthen this growth in the next years,” said Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr., who signed the agreement in behalf of the DOT.
“An Indian tourist, spends at least US$1,000, just imagine if we are able to meet the 100,000 mark of Indian tourists. Also, part of our strategy is to make them stay longer in the Philippines by developing new products that would meet their needs,” he disclosed.
A total of 88,832 Indian tourists visited the Philippines from January to October 2017, or a 20.28 percent compared to the same period in 2016.
In line with Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo’s policy statement, SIA and its sister company SilkAir also agreed to bring tourists not only to Manila but also to secondary destinations.
India is also the second fastest growing market of Philippine tourism, next to China.