BEIJING, China — The Philippine Embassy in China is working hard to encourage more Chinese tourists to come to the Philippines and see its world-class destinations.
“Of course this is something that the embassy aspires for because one of our responsibilities is to promote the Philippines as the referred destination among our Chinese friends and we are tirelessly trying our best to realize this aspiration in spite of the difficulties,” Ambassador Erlinda Basilio said in an interview with Radio TV Malacanang on Monday.
China is the country’s fourth biggest source of foreign travellers, Basilio said.
The Philippine embassy in Beijing and the six consulates general, especially the country’s tourism attaché from the Department of Tourism are trying to keep the Philippines in the consciousness of the Chinese tourists.
This is through familiarization trips, promotion in various media such as social media and visual reminders through a wide array of advertisements, Basilio said.
“We even advertise on buses. We go around Beijing and other parts of China. We bring the Chinese people to the embassy,” the ambassador said.
The embassy also promotes the Philippines through film showing, and recently Filipino film producers participated in the first Silk Road International Film Festival in Xi’an, Shaanxi province.
Basilio said that she believes the relations between the Philippines and China are still guided by the understanding between President Benigno S. Aquino III and then Chinese President Hu Jintao when they said that the maritime dispute should not affect the broader picture of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
This understanding between President Aquino and President Hu Jintao in 2011 inspires and motivates the Philippines to remain steadfast in its mutual aim to pursue a healthy partnership with China.
The misunderstanding on certain issues will and should not affect the other facets of the two countries’ relations such as economic, cultural and people to people, according to Basilio.
On the travel advisory on the Philippines, Basilio said she respects every country’s measures to protect its citizens against any perceived threats to its nationals.
“However we maintain that the Philippines is a safe and fun destination. And its people is known to be hospitable and warm hosts, friendly and welcoming to all,” she said.
The Philippine government also focuses on ensuring the safety of its visitors and guests, takes their concerns seriously and actively bring perpetrators of crime to justice, she said.
The Philippines unequivocally condemns any act of violence against Filipino or any other national, she added.
Although the ambassador acknowledged that there are isolated incidents involving foreigners in the Philippines, these incidents also occur in major cities and countries all over the world.