MANILA - The visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to China is seen to boost tourism in the Philippines as government officials step up efforts to promote the country.
Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo is expected to meet with investors and Chinese tour operators.
"We'd like them to rediscover the Philippines, the bountiful trade and industrial hub where the Chinese traders came to long before Spanish colonization," Teo said.
Representatives of the two countries will sign a memorandum of understanding on tourism cooperation during the President's state visit.
"China's invitation to President Rodrigo Duterte for state visit in Beijing bodes well for Philippine tourism, as the Chinese comprise the country's second biggest visitor group," Teo said.
In 2015, Chinese arrivals to the Philippines reached 490,841, 24 percent higher than the 2014 recorded arrivals of 394,951.
A total of 422,801 Chinese tourists visited the Philippines from January to July this year, behind tourist arrivals from South Korea and the US in terms of market share.
"We target 12 million annual international visitor arrival in 2022. Hopefully, we would no longer lag far behind our Asian neighbors in terms of tourism," Teo said.