The Philippines’ Ambassador to India, Teresita Daza, disclosed that not having direct air services between the Philippines and India is a huge disadvantage as it is missing out on attracting huge groups of tourists.
However, she hinted that all that might change very soon as air service negotiations between the two nations are set to commence.
“Representatives from our Civil Aviation Board were here a couple of days ago. It’s a matter of mutually convenient schedule to commence air service negotiations between the countries,” Daza revealed.
With regards to the Philippines’ national carrier – Philippine Airlines – resuming its New Delhi-Manila service, Daza disclosed that there was some interest by other carriers.
“If that happens it will be a big boost to our tourism and our tourism promotions in the Indian market,” she added.
Speaking about Visa processing, the Ambassador said that they have been “constantly fine tuning” their protocol to make it even easier. The Philippines offers visa free entry for 14 days to Indian passport holders with a valid Australia, US, UK, Japan, Canada or Schengen visa, for tourism purposes. This can be extended for seven more days.
Daza explained said that the processes are ‘straightforward” for those who want to apply for visa from the Embassy in Delhi and consulates in other cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, she said.
In related news, the Philippines Department of Tourism has inked a joint promotion agreement with Singapore Airlines for the Indian market. These marketing events will commence from the New Year, related SanJeet, India Representative of the Philippines Department of Tourism.
He divulged that both partners have allocated “substantial amount of budget” for a joint marketing campaign. The modalities of the activities that would be taken on would be decided on soon, he added.
Singapore Airlines links 16 airports in India to Singapore and to many key cities in the Philippines.