Manila: Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua predicted that one million Chinese tourists will arrive in the Philippines after the state visit of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Beijing in late October.
The arrival of one million Chinese tourists in 2017 will be a “one hundred per cent increase from the arrival of 500,000 Chinese tourists in the Philippines in 2015,” said Zhao at the Kamuning Bakery Café in suburban Quezon City on late Friday, the transcript of which reached reporters on Saturday.
“This will mean $1 billion to the Philippine economy based on the average expenditure of $1,000 per tourist,” said Zhao.
During the October 18 to 21 state visit of Duterte in Beijing, the Chinese government will announce “the lifting of a two year-old travel warning on the Philippines,” said Zhao.
In September 2014, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a travel warning after Philippine authorities arrested three men who were allegedly plotting to bomb the Chinese embassy, businesses, and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila’s suburban Pasay City.
Earlier, the Hong Kong government issued a black travel alert for the Philippines after nine Hong Kong-based tourists were killed and nine others were injured during a botched rescue operation following a hostage-taking incident in Manila’s central Luneta Park on August 23, 2010.
President Benigno Aquino refused to apologise for the incident and it affected ties between Hong Kong and Manila.
China is the third top market of Philippine tourism, next to Korea and the United States, with an average growth rate of 48.48 per cent, the tourism department said.