On 8 February 2017, H.E. Mme. Yang Xiuping, Secretary-General of ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), met with H.E. Mme. Alma Rita R. Jimenez, Undersecretary of the Department of Tourism of the Philippines (DOT) in Manila. Officials from the Policy Planning and International Cooperation of DOT, officials from the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines and Mr. Zhang Xuehai, Deputy Director of Information and Public Relations Division of ACC, attended the meeting.
Tourism is a bridge to spread civilization, advance cultural exchanges and boost friendship, said Secretary-General Yang Xiuping, which is of vital significance to promote people-to-people bonds and deepen practical cooperation. Tourism cooperation has become one of the bright spots in ASEAN-China and Philippines-China cooperation. China has become the largest source of tourists to ASEAN, and the third largest to the Philippines. In the first three quarters of 2016, the number of two-way visitors between ASEAN and China exceeded 22 million, while the number of visitors between the Philippines and China registered a year-on-year increase of 52% to 1.4 million. The year of 2017 is the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation, as well as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, which provides tremendous opportunities to deepen ASEAN-China and Philippines-China tourism cooperation.
Secretary-General Yang said that ACC attaches great importance to tourism cooperation and has actively facilitated exchanges and cooperation between tourism agencies of both sides. Through holding tourism capacity building workshops for ASEAN countries, organizing ASEAN-China Tourism Cooperation Forum, hosting Photo Contest, etc., ACC has made continuous efforts to deepen tourism cooperation between ASEAN and China. ACC would like to further enhance communication with the Philippines and actively participate in the relevant activities of ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation to further promote tourism cooperation between both sides.
Undersecretary Jimenez spoke highly of the work of ACC to promote the development of ASEAN-China tourism cooperation. She said DOT has been keeping close coordination with China National Tourism Administration on the activities of ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation, in which ACC’s participation is warmly welcome. Both the Philippines and China are rich in tourism resources, and are important tourist destinations for each other. With the strengthening of connectivity between ASEAN and China, especially the opening of more air routes, there will be greater space for tourism cooperation. Being committed to developing sustainable tourism and improving the quality of tourism products, DOT looks forward to strengthening cooperation with ACC and enhancing tourism cooperation in an innovative way to further promote mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples.