(First Row, starting from 3rd from the left: Tourism Assistant Secretary Howard Lance A. Uyking, Secretary Bernadette Fatima Romulo-Puyat, Consul General Celeste Vinzon-Balatbat, JATA-Chubu Region President Akihiko Naoe, Tourism Undersecretary Edwin R. Enrile, PDOT-Osaka Tourism Attaché Gwen S. Batoon)
19 March 2022 – Secretary of Tourism Bernadette Fatima Romulo-Puyat invited travel partners in the Chubu region to help revitalize tourism flows to the Philippines.
The Meet and Greet Event, organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) at the Hilton Hotel in Nagoya on 17 March 2022, gathered participants from the travel, media, and education industries in central Japan. DOT officials including Undersecretary Edwin R. Enrile and Assistant Secretary Howard Lance A. Uyking, and representatives from the Philippine Consulates General in Nagoya and Osaka were present in the event.
The event provided updates on the relaxation of Philippine border measures, compliance with the “new normal” health and safety standards for the industry, upgrading of the variety and the quality of tourism services, and ways forward on reviving travel and tourism between the Philippines and Japan.
Philippine Consulate-General in Nagoya Offers Visa Assistance
Consul General Celeste Vinzon-Balatbat gives preview of travel updates to be presented by DOT
Consul General Celeste Vinzon-Balatbat welcomed DOT delegates and invited guests to the event.
She also offered assistance from the Philippine Consulate-General in Nagoya in processing entry visas and advising travelers on entry protocols and other information on travel to the Philippines.
The Philippines: “It’s More Fun with You”
Secretary Puyat gave the keynote speech, attesting that her visit to Japan was the beginning of the recovery of tourism.
Secretary Puyat unveiled the DOT’s new tourism campaign, showcasing Philippine destinations as being “More Fun with You” and the DOT’s initiatives to welcome more tourists from Japan.
She announced new tourism product offerings [catering] to travelers’ evolving preferences and priorities” in the new normal. She said, “we have developed over 111 tourism circuits that cover food crawls, cultural and heritage tours, and adventure trails” around the country.
Secretary Puyat urged travel partners to engage with DOT’s West Japan Office, which would conduct a series of “Discovery webinars” on these product offerings, bring real time updates for the travel trade in the Japanese language, and conduct livestream virtual facility tours of Cebu and Bohol.
With the Philippines as host to the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit on 20-22 April 2022, Secretary Puyat said, “we invite you to come and join us as we Rediscover Travel, and open real dialogue to promote sustainable and inclusive growth in the sector, working with governments and international institutions to create and recover jobs, drive exports, and generate prosperity for the industry.”
She thanked the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) for its policy recommendations, which have contributed to the easing of border restrictions beginning November 2020.
JATA as PH Partner
JATA-Chubu Chapter President Akihiko Naoe in expresses his appreciation to the DOT delegation, Nagoya PCG, and members of the JATA-Chubu Chapter for their continued support.
Mr. Akihiko Naoe, President of Japanese Association of Travel Agents (JATA) – Chubu Chapter, affirmed “JATA continues to urge the Japanese government to relax the border restrictions for the Philippines.”
He cited the popularity of the Philippines as a destination among the Japanese who want to learn the English language and confirmed JATA’s support for resuming travel between the two countries.
Before the pandemic, Japan was the country’s 4th biggest tourism market with 682,788 visitors or 8.27% of total international tourism arrivals in 2019.