PH tourist destinations impress Chinese media

BEIJING-- A thrilling 4X4 ride and sand boarding at Paoay sand dunes as well as visits at the Philippines historical sites have left deep impression on Chinese journalists who joined the recent Chinese Media Reporting Trip to Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN).

"The trip left them with a deep impression about the Philippines," Yang Xiuping, secretary-general of the ASEAN-China Center which organized the third Chinese Media Reporting Trip to ASEAN, said in ACC reports posted in its websites.

Vithit Powattanasuk, director of ACC Information and Public Relations, said 11 journalists from China Network Television, Global Times, China Report, Jiangxi Radio and Television Station, Shandong Dazhong Daily, Guangxi Daily and Hainan Daily have joined the eight-day trip that also covered Indonesia.

"The aim is very simple: to promote tourism of the Philippines into China," Powattanasuk said in an interview with Philippine News Agency (PNA) last Thursday.

Aside from tourism, Powattanasuk said the ACC is also trying to promote other pillars of cooperation namely economic, investment, education and culture between China and ASEAN countries particularly with the Philippines.

He said the Philippines has very good potentials to be the new destination for more Chinese tourists in the near future.

"The Philippines has a lot of tourist sites, people are hospitable, and has affordable cost of living for visitors especially for family visit. The environment is quite conducive for everyone, not only for tourism but for making investment, Powattanasuk said.

With the flourishing China-Philippines relations, Philippines Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana has recently expressed hopes that the country will reach one million Chinese tourist arrivals this year.

Powattanasuk said the ACC has been working with the Philippine embassy in Beijing to put more articles promoting the Philippines tourism in the China-ASEAN Panorama magazine which publishes 40,000 copies per month.

Powattanasuk thanked Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar for the hospitality that PCOO had shown to the Chinese media during a visit at the Malacanang Palace.

"Mr. Andanar is a very good man. He is very active and dynamic official," he said.

Andanar, accompanied by representatives from PNA, Philippine Information Agency, Philippine Broadcasting Service and PTV4, met with Yang and the Chinese media delegation.

Assisted by the Department of Tourism (DOT), the Chinese media team had also visited Confucius Institute at the Ateneo de Manila University, Subsidiary of Huawei Group and Intramuros' historical sites including Fort Santiago during their five-day stay in the Philippines.

They also met Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) chairman emeritus Francis Chua, DOT Assistant Secretary Reynaldo Ching and Chinese Consulate in Laoag Wang Jianjun.

In Ilocos Norte which has existing province relations with China's Shandong province since 2002, the Chinese media also went to the Malacanang of the North and historic Paoay Church.

"They would actively report the whole trip so as to make contributions to mutual understanding and friendship between both peoples," Yang, who led the Chinese media delegation, said.

She said ACC would continue to serve as a bridge and bond to make a contribution to deepening ASEAN-China relations as well as China-Philippines relations for the benefit of its people.

From the Philippines, the Chinese journalists went to Indonesia to complete a successful eight-day Chinese Media Reporting Trip to ASEAN.

Powattanasuk, who joined the third Chinese Media Reporting Trip to ASEAN, said two more ASEAN countries will be visited by Chinese media while another group of ASEAN journalists will also visit China next year.

Other ASEAN members include: Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, and Brunei.

China and ASEAN countries have combined population of 1.9 billion with 23.64 million exchanges of visits, including 17.09 million visitors from China, recorded in 2015.

The first ACC-organized Chinese media visit to the Philippines coincides with the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, the ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation, and the Philippines as rotating chairman of ASEAN this year.

"I'm hoping that the reporting trip in the Philippines would make positive contributions to promoting tourism resources of the Philippines and enhancing ASEAN-China people-to people exchanges and mutual understanding," Yang said.

Source: Philippine News Agency