According to an official with the Philippine Department of Tourism, the country is considering a visa-free policy with China in order to boost travel between the two countries.
As quoted by CRI, the official pointed out that China has a huge number of outbound travelers, and that the Philippines’ visa policy is “inconvenient for Chinese tourists”.
The proposed visa waiver is the latest development in the thawing of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Despite a ban on Filipino bananas and pineapples following a 2011 territorial dispute, China is once again importing the fruits ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s October state visit to China.
Chinese authorities have also openly considered lowering the threshold for Filipino teachers. The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) said the agency may soon officially add the Philippines to the country’s list of accepted native English-speaking countries for English teachers.
This marks a stark contrast to relations only three months ago, when the Hague international tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines in the South China Sea dispute.
Visitors from around 50 countries currently enjoy visa-free travel to the Philippines.
Last year, some 491,000 Chinese tourists visited the Philippines. According to Chinese travel booking platform Ctrip, the Philippines is one of the top ten international travel destinations for Chinese travelers.