Philippine envoy invites Japanese tourists as Narita-Clark route resumes

2023 April 19

Clark International Airport in Pampanga 

MANILA – The Philippine Embassy in Japan urged Japanese nationals to visit Philippine destinations as Cebu Pacific resumes its Narita-Cebu vice versa routes.

On top of various destinations that range from nature to sun and beach, Philippine Ambassador to Japan Mylene Garcia Albano said the country can also offer unforgettable experiences to Japanese nationals its trademark “Filipino hospitality”.

“[T]he Philippines welcomes with open arms Japanese visitors who are looking for a getaway for diving, health and wellness, and English language education, among other offerings,” she was quoted as saying by the Department of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.

“Through partners such as Cebu Pacific, we hope to promote the Philippines as a destination of choice for Japanese outbound travelers, especially as we approach the Golden Week holidays,” she added.

Japan has consistently been the Philippines’ fourth-biggest tourism source market prior to the pandemic, with visitors in 2019 reaching 682,788.

Cebu Pacific suspended its Cebu and Clark routes at the height of border closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Philippine Embassy organized the presser in Japan on April 18 as the country ease Covid-19 restrictions and urge tourists to return to the country.

Together with the envoy were Cebu Pacific President Chief Operating Officer Alexander Lao and Country Manager Tomohiko Matsumoto.

Aside from announcing the resumption of the Clark-Narita-Clark routes, Cebu Pacific also presented its expansion plans and introduced campaigns to promote the Philippines as a travel destination of choice for Japanese nationals.

At the height of the pandemic in 2021, arrivals from Japan went down to 15,024 visitors.

This eventually rose to 99,557 the following year when the Philippines officially reopened borders to leisure travelers in February 2022.

The return of Japanese visitors continued to increase at the beginning of 2023, with 63,826 arrivals recorded from January to March 31 alone. 

Joyce Ann Rocamora