The Philippines will launch the e-Visa system for foreign travelers within the third quarter of 2023, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Wednesday.
In a press conference, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Jesus Domingo said the e-Visa will allow foreign nationals to apply for appropriate Philippine visas online.
“This will make the visa application process easier, faster, more efficient, and convenient for foreign nationals who wish to visit the Philippines for leisure and business purposes,” he said.
The Philippine e-Visa system is currently being developed by the DFA in partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
Philippine Ambassador to China Jaime FlorCruz, in the same presser, expressed hopes this initiative would attract more Chinese tourists and students to the Philippines.
Citing embassy observations, he said the expected revenge travel in China is “mainly confined to domestic travel.”
“The outbound travel is modest and I think we’re getting a good share of that. But reality is that the Chinese are not yet traveling out of China with full force as they used to,” he said.
“Anecdotally, when I traveled in the airport two days ago, the International Airport of Beijing was probably 20 percent it’s normal traffic,” he added.
While the number of Chinese tourists has yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, the DFA noted that the demand to secure visas to the Philippines is still there.
In fact, the foreign service posts in China had been operating beyond its full capacity to process and issue visas to Chinese travelers, Domingo said.
Prior to the pandemic, China ranked as the second country with the most number of visitors to the Philippines at over 1.7 million visitors in 2019 next to South Korea. (PNA)