Wave of optimism in reopening travel routes

A wave of optimism has taken over our country, considering that our government has identified tourism as a top priority agenda and a major economic pillar for our resurgence

The Philippines is open for tourism.

More than two years since the world shut its doors because of the travel restrictions from the Covid-19 outbreak, the archipelago of more than 7,600 islands will restart accepting travelers from Italy following the sealed Memorandum of Understanding on tourism between Tourism Secretary Maria Christina Frasco and Italian Minister of Tourism Daniela Garnero Santaché.

“We recognize your country as an essential partner for the Philippines in many aspects. We celebrate 75 years of our official relations, and we share with you a love for many Italian things,” Secretary Frasco said during a ceremony in Rome, Italy.

With the opening of borders between the two nations, a wave of optimism is steadily growing among the tourism industry players. The Marcos government has taken significant steps to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on travel and the tourism sector.

Aside from increasing accessibility by reinstating direct flights between the two countries, the two tourism executives particularly eye possible tourism coordination in cross-promoting dive sites in Rome and the Philippines and providing Italian language training assistance to Filipino tourism workers.

In particular, Frasco proposed to enter a MoU with the Italian Minister of Tourism.

“We would be very interested and happy to enter into a memorandum of understanding on tourism cooperation among our two countries and ministries, recognizing that we could work together to develop mutually,” she added.

Minister Santaché positively received Secretary Frasco’s invitation to forge a tourism agreement.

“We would like to continue our two countries’ collaboration. Also, (from the level of the Minister of Tourism of Italy and Philippines), we share the interest that you shared to have a Memorandum of Understanding of trying to coordinate,” Minister Santaché said.

Frasco maintained that the Italian market is a critical source market for the Philippines.

“A wave of optimism has taken over our country, considering that our government has identified tourism as a top priority agenda and a major economic pillar for our resurgence,” Secretary Frasco added.

The flag carrier Philippine Airlines decided to halt its direct flights to Rome.

PAL was the only airline allowed by the European Union to mount flights from Manila to Italy due to the 1969 agreement of the Philippine government to the EU.

But in 2013, PAL President Ramon Ang mulled reopening the flights but did not prosper.

As of 2013, Italy was home to some 170,000 Filipinos.


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