Secretary of Tourism Ramon Jimenez Jr. said at the recently concluded Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart 2012 that the Philippines is working hard to open the region to more foreign tourists, streamline travel requirements, and modernize the visa application processing.
Secretary Jimenez also clarified as to why the Philippines has a smaller international visitor arrivals figure relative to other countries in ASEAN such as Malaysia and Thailand. He said that the Philippines does not enjoy a connection of contiguous land mass where a foreign national can simply drive across a border and be counted among the international arrivals.
“Filipinos actually enjoy playing hosts. It is not just another economic activity for most Filipinos—it is real enjoyment. It is an area where we naturally excel,” the Secretary said.